Survey says ... very little

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I write regarding your Aug. 21 story, "Survey results indicate boom for St. John's: B of T."

How is anything that comes out of this board of trade survey valid? They sent out 880 surveys and found 70 people who had the time or interest to respond. Thus their "results?" are based on 7.95 per cent of their members and board chairman Denis Mahoney derives from that that 43 per cent of the businesses - that's 43 per cent of 7.95 per cent or 3.4 per cent of his members - said that they anticipate employment growth over the next year.

To me, 3.4 per cent is scary and not predictive of a boom, but rather of a bust for hiring. Mahoney says that he wasn't worried about the results given the small number of returns. I guess that was so because he saw he could manufacture another fatuous press release citing the marvels of the boom-producing St. John's business world.

I think the board of trade needs a statistician to tell Mahoney what he can validly draw out of his meagre returns and how he should phrase his lack of real data so that the board maintains some credibility. Or maybe the members are already showing him that by their lack of response.

Paul F. Murphy

St. John's

Geographic location: St. John's

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  • Joe
    August 29, 2013 - 14:37

    In the "business" section a CP writer states that of pre-retirement Canadians 46% are not sure they have enough saved for retirement which they says is "almost double" the 2006 statistic of 20%. It is good to know that information supplied by the media is so accurate.