Scotland outpaces England in job growth


I managed to find some comparative [Scotland/England] data to add to my recent report:

Good news for the Scottish economy again! Big rise in permanent jobs and starting salaries climb in Scotland


‘Glass half full or half empty? The Markit July figures are looking healthy.’

The author, Chris Peace, is clearly better than I am at finding such information from the Markit report. The comparative figures, where 50 would mean no change are:

Permanent Jobs           Temporary Jobs

Scotland          66.2                             70

England           62.5                             62.7

I have to admit that I don’t know just how significant those differences are but they’re in the right direction for the Scottish economy and presumably further evidence of good government. They’re clearly not percentages. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

‘Formula, calculation, and reading

PMI data are presented in the form of a diffusion index, which is calculated as follows:

P M I = ( P 1 1 ) + ( P 2 0.5 ) + ( P 3 0 )


  • P1 = Percentage number of answers that reported an improvement.
  • P2 = Percentage number of answers that reported no change.
  • P3 = Percentage number of answers that reported a deterioration.

Thus, if 100% of the panel reported an improvement, the index would be 100.0. If 100% reported a deterioration, the index would be zero. If 100% of the panel saw no change, the index would be 50.0 (P2 * 0.5).

Therefore, an index reading of 50.0 means that the variable is unchanged, a number over 50.0 indicates an improvement, while anything below 50.0 suggests a decline. An index of 50.0 would arise if either all respondents reported no change or the number of respondents reporting an improvement was matched by the number of respondents reporting a deterioration. The further away from 50.0 the index is, the stronger the change over the month, e.g. a reading of 55.0 points to a more frequently reported increase in a variable than a reading of 52.5.[1] The degree of confidence experienced by respondents reporting an improvement and the degree of concern experienced by respondents reporting a deterioration are not factored into the index.’

There you go. That’s that cleared up, I think. Does that mean that if the range is only from 50 to 100 that the gaps between the Scottish and English figures are actually twice as big as they would be if they had been percentages based on a 0 to 100 scale?

I could be all at sea here. Readers good at maths; are you out there?


10 thoughts on “Scotland outpaces England in job growth

  1. Contrary August 9, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    Well, I’m kinda rusty with the maths, and the P3 x 0 threw me for a bit there. But I get it now, if there are 80% P3 answers, that ratio is taken out of the final index number, and you could have, say 10% each for both P1and P2, giving you 10+5=15. So, it is a kind of weighting system – positives are like an absolute percentage, but the no change and deterioration varies it to the index number. But the index number does range from 0 to 100. If my brain worked well, I would remember what that kind of formula meant, but it doesn’t, so I will just ramble for a while.

    P1+P2+P3 must = 100%

    And index number of 70 means a maximum P1 of 70% (when P2=0 and P3=30%), and P1 minimum of 40% (when P2=60% and P3=0). Diffuse indeed. The index seems to be indicating that ‘no change’ is a positive when there is less deterioration. Effectively you subtract any P3 deterioration percentage from 100, then add the whole of P1 to half of P2. Doing this means your maximum improvement index number is always 100% minus the deterioration P3 %. And the P2 no change gives you a meh factor.

    So, to answer your question, no, the differences are the same as when it is a percentage – you just can’t tell how much of each figure is due to each P type answer, except within a range.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Contrary August 9, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    Of course! I’d just think of them as percentage (possibility of) improvement figures – the index effectively eliminates the deterioration (100% deterioration is 0 index) so a zero score is just zero improvement, 50 index score is meh improvement, and you are rocking for anything above that. So the figures show that Scotland rocks more than England.

    Even if we can’t tell exactly the make-up if the index figures, the higher number will always have less of the P3-bad percentage. Close figures like the 62.5 and 66.2 – I would have to put pen to paper to check on the possible ratios to say how no change / improvement works, but to make that worthwhile you would need to know how they define each, for context and meaning.


  3. Contrary August 10, 2017 / 8:10 am

    Meh is one word that has developed into our modern language that I feel has true, deep, feeling, meaning 🙂 I like it.

    Even if you take ‘zero improvement’ at the 50 of the index scale you still have to take into consideration negative improvement below 50. Maybe that’s a better way to think of it, so, 20 index number is equivalent to -30 improvement. Some people have difficulty with minus numbers though, when associated with positive words,,, I’ll stop now!


    • Contrary August 10, 2017 / 12:19 pm

      🙂 yup.

      I can only do maths – my mental arithmetic is abysmal and statistics pretty shaky. Give me a formula though and I’m up for it!

      Liked by 1 person

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