I challenge Michael Fahy to prove that work permit increases lead to Bermudian jobs

Buried within the “Income inequality linked to violence” article in today’s Royal gazette are some interesting comments made by the Minister of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities Michael Fahy.  He suggests it is a fact that the number of Bermudian jobs are correlated to the number of work permit holders.  How can he claim that is a “fact” and can he prove it?

Here’s the rub.  I wholly agree with Mr. Fahy’s hypothesis of a correlation between the rise in work permit jobs and subsequent rises in Bermudian jobs.  I however, cannot prove it so I cannot claim it as fact, only a hypothesis.

I would certainly love to be able to show charts of the last 30 years demonstrating a clear link between the rise in non-Bermudian jobs and how they impact Bermudian jobs.  I would love to be able to demonstrate that the rise and declines in predominantly Bermudian categories like Clerks (ie Secretaries) are highly linked to the rise and declines of non-Bermudian professional and management jobs.

Why can’t I prove it?  We don’t have good historical statistical employment data.  In 2008, all of the job categories were changed.  There is no grand compilation of long term historical trends available.  The data for my #WhereDidTheJobsGo series has painstakingly been compiled through consolidating data across multiple years but it is very difficult to go back further than 2008 so the only thing I can show are the declines, and not the increases (especially pre-full employment).

Until I can clearly demonstrate such a correlation, I cannot deem it as fact, only as a hypothesis.  How can Mr. Fahy claim it is a fact?  Has he crunched the numbers?  Has he seen reports that clearly demonstrate the correlation?  If so, can he make them available?  If not, I challenge him to either put the stats together or help me get the employment stats in standardized groupings for the last 30 years that I’d need to be able to conclusively prove whether or not work-permit numbers lead to Bermudian jobs and more importantly, what types?  Until then it can’t be said to be a fact that work permit rises lead to Bermudian jobs, only an assumption.