A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Those Google 'Stats'

For those who do not have their own blog it should be noted that when you have a free blog on Google Blogger they provide a basic overview of visitors to your blog, where they are located and, if following a link, from where that link originated. Many of us like to look at this to see if we are being read and by whom, most bloggers are after all a bit of a self centered lot, myself being no exception.  Trouble is like any statistical information the criteria when assembling the data can be misleading depending upon what and how its being counted.
According to my Google Blogger stats my site here has received a little better than 7,000 "page views" in the last month, if that were accurate I would have a hard time getting my head through the door! I actual fact 99% of these "page views" were unsuccessful  'bots' visits blocked by Google but still counted as 'visits'. Digging deeper, and with the ongoing debate about if or when outside sources stole the U.S. election, I see that 1700 of these visits were from Russia closely followed by 1600 from U.S. addresses, seems both countries have their problems with 'hackers', government sponsored or not.
The visits from those who may have some actual interest in my scribblings, those in Canada, are somewhat more accurate so far as I can tell, that being a total of 10 individuals over the last month. Talk about a deflation of ego!
It bothers me not (much), like most writers I write more for myself than others. If you have stuff on your mind, write it down, start a blog, have a rant, even bend the ear of someone willing to listen..... its so much better that bottling it in and letting it build into something far worse than a minor irritation, hence this rant!

PS. I do note that Google has a 'full service' stats utility which can be installed on any web site but what a hassle to set it up particularly if you want to see the visitors to the various pages on your site.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Labour Force Survey Misleading.

I have had a go at this before.....
Just noticed a piece in the Sun Times titled “Region's unemployment rate drops”, the first line says “Part-time job growth drove November's unemployment rate down to 3 per cent in the economic region consisting of Grey, Bruce, Huron and Perth counties.” This may be true in that its the “Four County Labour Market Planning Board” serving “Grey, Bruce, Huron, Perth” and all the statistics for that area are lumped together. In fact I am told that separate statistics for the various counties and/or economic areas within them are not available, this to me makes this information not only all but useless but highly misleading.
That generally work found is in “the precarious types of employment – i.e. part-time, casual, entry-level, low-pay” jobs. Nor does it “reflect the degree to which people are under-employed” and “they don't reflect how many of those employed part-time would rather work full-time.” further adds to the problem with the “Labour Force Survey”. (A full time job lost is equivalent to a part time job gained in this and most other “employment” statistics.)
The survey goes on to say that 3,200 jobs have been “gained”, however it seems that 90% of these are those “part time precarious employment” positions so across the entire region from Tobermoury to Stratford just 300 full time jobs have been found and no one knows whether these were in Owen Sound, Goderich, Collingwood, Walkerton or Hanover areas.

Then there is this bit “The top two gains were in the services-producing sector in "accommodation and food services" (read waitressing) and "wholesale and retail trade" (read cashier) categories, which gained 1,200 each. Employment in the goods-producing sector saw gains in all categories the highest gains in that sector were in "agriculture" with 1,100 jobs. “ (make me wonder what positions are included in that sector) Losses were all in the services-producing sector, 900 jobs, in "other services," and 800 jobs in "finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing,". Reading between the lines it would seem that blue collar workers are SOL, a quick look at local Grey Bruce job listings would seem to confirm that.

My biggest problem with this whole thing is that it lumps completely disparate areas together and appears to assume that the job market in southern Huron - Perth is the same as that in northern Grey - Bruce. I strongly dispute this, I believe from my own observations of various employment “opportunities” web sites that the situation varies greatly across “the four counties”.
If the Four Counties Labour Force Survey is to be taken seriously and to be of any use in assisting LOCAL employers, the unemployed and organizations in addressing the issue of the LOCAL economy then we need LOCAL statistics.