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On 13 September 2013, presidential candidate Zurab Kharatishvili met with members of the Rustavi population and presented them the chief priorities of his presidential programme. Kharatishvilitook special note of employment issues and stated: “Rustavi is an industrial town and in the aftermath of the October [Parliamentary] elections the state of employment is only worsening.”

We took interest in the given matter and tried to examine whether or not the rates of employment in Rustavi had indeed seen a decrease after October 2012.

At the outset we addressed the National Statistics Office of Georgia with an official letter in which we requested information on the number of employed in the period from October 2012 until present (September 2013).

As stated in the response, GeoStat holds no data on employment rates by towns and municipalities and, therefore, could not provide information regarding the number of employed in Rustavi. We attempted to establish the number of employed in Rustavi by yearsindependently.

The Rustavi City Hall official website presents solely some major economic indicators

of 2008. In accordance with this data, as of 2008, 14,113 people were employed in the city’s business sector. GeoStat reports the number of employed in the business sector of Lower Kartli (Rustavi belongs to the Lower Kartli region) to be at 26,863 in 2008. Based on these two indicators the share of the employed in Rustavi in the total number of those in Lower Kartli equals 53%.

In order to calculate similar indicators for previous years, we used the percentage given above and based upon the statistical data on Lower Kartli tried to establish what the numbers of people employed in Rustavi’s business sector would look like if the percentage remained unchanged.

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Lower Kartli 26,863 28,460 28,411 32,266 33,509
Rustavi 14,113 15,084 15,058 17,101 17,760

Using the data of GeoStat on relevant quarters and applying to it the correlation (53%) established by us, we set out to determine the number of employed in the business sector of Rustavi.

 

2012 Q1

2012 Q2

2012 Q3

2012 Q4

2013 Q1

2013 Q2

Lower Kartli 35,850 37,216 36,823 36,666 34,604 34,345
Rustavi 19,000 19,724 19,516 19,432 18,340 18,202

Based on the numbers shown above, we compared the quarterly indices of 2013 to those from 2012. As gathered from the chart, the alleged number of people employed in the business sector in Rustavi amounted to 18,340 in the first quarter of 2013 which is 3.5%less than the indicatorfor the correspondent quarter of 2012 (19,000). Similarly, the data for the second quarter of 2013 – 18,202 is lower than that of the second quarter of 2012 – 19,724 by 7.7%. Therefore, our calculations demonstrate an evident decrease in the numbers.

xar1 Graph 1: Supposed Number of Employed in Rustavi We also compared the amount of funds gathered over the last four years through income taxes in Rustavi. As the candidate discusses the period after the Parliamentary elections we also formed our analysis around the periods from October to October. As reported by the data of the Georgian Revenue Service, roughly GEL 6.1 billion was accrued in Rustavi through income taxes in the period between 1 October 2009 and 1 October 2010. This indicator for the next twelve months was at GEL 7.1 billion while in the period from 1 October 2011 to 1 October 2012 the number equalled GEL 8.7 billion. For the interval between 1 October 2012 and 1 October 2013 the number totalled GEL 7.4 billion.xar2 Graph 2: Funds Accrued through Income Taxes in Rustavi

As gathered from the graph, up until 2012 the funds from income taxes were seeing an increase whereas in the years 2012-2013 the sums accrued through income taxes started shrinking. The observed decrease could be prompted by a fall in the number of employed and the related drop in the amount of salaries as well as by a decrease in the collection of taxes. Therefore, the indicated data is not sufficient for verifying the alleged drop in the number of employed but provides certain information with regard to the existing state of affairs on the labour market of Rustavi.

Conclusion

As no official statistical data is available on the employment rates of Rustavi, we tried to paint a picture of the employment situation in Rustavi based upon the statistical data on Lower Kartli provided by GeoStat. For this purpose we applied a methodology worked out by us.

The acquired results demonstrate that the number of people employed in the business sector of Rustavi in the first and second quarters of 2013 is lower than that of 2012.

Aiming to prop up our research we also analysed the funds accrued throughout the last four years through the income taxes in Rustavi. The volume of income taxes collected in 2012-2013 is smaller than the volume for the similar periods of the previous years. It is to be noted, however, that this circumstance does not constitute an undisputable verification for a drop in the number of employed.

Considering the circumstances revealed by our research we can assert with a high probability that Zurab Kharatishvili’s statement: “Rustavi is an industrial town and in the aftermath of the October [Parliamentary] elections the state of employment is only worsening,” is TRUE.-Veriko Sukhiashvili

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