Are you happy? Government to measure Islanders wellbeing annually – Jersey Evening Post

Posted: October 5, 2019 at 9:44 am

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Statistics Jersey is planning to produce annual reports on the general happiness and welfare of Islanders, based on models introduced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, as the economic Gross Value Added measure is now viewed by some as outdated and a blunt instrument.

The Jersey Better Life Index, which has been produced in 2013 and 2018, includes a much broader ranges of measures to assess prosperity and well-being, such as environmental quality and life satisfaction.

Earlier this week Environment Minister John Young echoed the sentiments that more than just economic health needed to be assessed when he said that the Island should stop prioritising economic growth and financial interests over its environment.

On Wednesday Statistics Jersey released the latest figures measuring the Islands Gross Value Added figure, which is the estimated economic output or value of goods and services produced of all of Jerseys businesses and workplaces.

The report shows that the economy grew by 1.4% in real terms [taking into account inflation] last year, which was the fifth successive year of positive growth.

But Jersey has lagged severely behind Guernsey and the UK in terms of how its economic standard of living has grown over the last five years.

The GDP [gross domestic product] per person in Jersey of 43,470 has grown just 1% over the last half decade, compared to 7% in the UK and 12% in Guernsey, according to comparable figures.

Duncan Gibaut, head of Statistics Jersey, said that the Island was moving away from relying on GVA and GDP figures to determine the Islands performance because of their limited scope.

In 2013 based on the OECD model we did the first Better Life Index report and we did the same thing again in 2018, he said.

It is definitely the right direction to be heading in. GVA is an incredibly blunt instrument and it does not measure things like the well-being and sustainability of a jurisdiction.

The Better Life Index is less narrow and limited and includes measures such as health status, personal safety, environmental quality, life satisfaction, housing and civic engagement, which, of course, Jersey came bottom of everyone in this year.

We compare Jersey to 39 OECD countries in the report and to hundreds of regions as well. The OECD produces up-to-date data tables, so we are hoping to be able to produce this report every year from now rather, then the five years between the last two.

Jerseys total GVA last year was 4,707 million. The Islands productivity GVA per worker has fallen 23% since its peak in 2007, prior to the global financial crisis.

Originally posted here:
Are you happy? Government to measure Islanders wellbeing annually - Jersey Evening Post

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October 5th, 2019 at 9:44 am