Visualization: A Decade of Jobs Destruction in Portugal (1999-2009)?


Made with freely available data from Pordata.

EIU’s Best City Contest taught me about the importance of data visualization and so I intend to push me to learn more about such an appealing field for any social scientist willing to improve his communication skills.

The viz (the trendy word for visualization) above is based on very simple calculations. In this analysis, a Job Offer at the Employment Centers represents the submission, by an employer, of an available position to be fulfilled by an individual registered on any Employment Center. Positions awaiting completion in late December were moved to the next year. Such data can be found here.  Additionally, Labour Supply represents the average set of unemployed individuals registered in the Employment Centers every year. Instead of using absolut numbers (Labour Supply figures can be found here), I chose to do some extra computations.

To study the evolution of both variables during the decade, I decided to measure all values relatively to 1999. Therefore, in the graphic at the bottom of the visualization, when you read that 120.300 above the red bar for 2005, it means that in 2005 the labour supply registered at the Employment Centers was 120.300 individuals greater  than in 1999. Impressive. Moreover, the red bar means that the job offers were lower in 2005 than in 1999; darker bars represent greater negative gaps. Just check the legend bellow the drawing.

The main graphic, the black one, shows the relation between the two variables. The Job Destruction figures are nothing more than the increase of the labour supply available in the Employment Centers liquid from new job offers (annual averages). Though very simple and inacurate, these figures show that 138.000 working positions probably disappeared in this period. Is that right?

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5 responses to “Visualization: A Decade of Jobs Destruction in Portugal (1999-2009)?

  1. Yes it’s right. My theory is a centralization theory.
    Portugal is for EU, as Moura or Mértola villages are for Beja, or for example Beja to Lisbon. The phenomenon is the same. People getting old, young people migrating to central regions, etc.

    • Seems legit. However, jobs are not flying all the way to the center. Instead they’re finding other peripheries, inside or outside the EU. Why should that happen?

  2. «Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.0%), the Netherlands (5.0%) and Luxembourg (5.1%), and the highest in Spain (23.3%), Greece (19.9% in November 2011), Ireland and Portugal (both 14.8%).
    Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in ten Member States, remained unchanged in two and rose in fifteen Member States. The largest falls were observed in Latvia (18.2% to 14.7% between the third quarters of 2010 and 2011), Lithuania (17.5% to 14.3% between the fourth quarters of 2010 and 2011) and Estonia (13.9% to 11.7% between the fourth quarters of 2010 and 2011). The highest increases were registered in Greece (14.1% to 19.9% between November 2010 and November 2011), Cyprus (6.3% to 9.6%) and Spain (20.6% to 23.3%).»
    http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/3-01032012-AP/EN/3-01032012-AP-EN.PDF

    Why?
    To explain quickly, a CEO told me in a Conference in Buenos Aires once that “to survive in the markets you just need to have great products/services and great customers”.
    Great customers – Customers with money. Out of the center, only the State and very few companies can be great customers. Scale economy reasons.
    Great products/services – products with “great” differentiation or “great” price. Out of the center, which employee can integrate this market? The ones with great differentiation and/or lower price.

    Basically to change this matter, non-centralized regions should get great customers and great products/services and can only do by differentiation (example of Cork in Portugal or Tourism) or lower price (intensive HC work as for example for textile).
    Nowadays, we had 2 situations. The lower price “section” left Periphery and only great differentiation sectors maintains active. The rest is being killed time after time.

    How to solve it?
    1. Substitute the high quality Human Capital work from the center by having more competitive companies with lower prices and more differentiation than the center, to “downsize” some parts of the production to periphery. For that we need basically stronger education and better R&D.
    2. Catch new market trends in sectors that “who get first, take it all” and be constantly leading that market. For example, if Portugal have a trend of old people lifestyle, new companies should grow in this sector.

    If we have 1+2 will centralize in periphery new Clusters.

  3. Instead of “old people” read “seniors”. 😛

  4. Thanks for the insight Francisco! Sure management strategies or skills are not my strongest point so I’m glad to have you arround from times to times. The best of lucks with your thesis.

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