Charles Mount has published some numbers on excavation licenses for Irish archaeology during the first two quarters of 2012–and the news is not good. You can see the full numbers in his post:
The Heritage Council of Ireland, a statutory body established under the Heritage Act, 1995, has released a report on the Economic Value of Ireland’s Historic Environment conducted by Ecorys and Fitzpatrick Associates. As defined by the report, Ireland’s historic environment consists of two World Heritage Sites, Bru na Boinne in Co Meath and Skellig Michael off Co Kerry, more than 20 Historic National Properties, 38,000 protected structures and more than 120,000 monuments protected under the National Monuments Act. These resources were used as the basis for the economic analyses.
Some of the highlights are:
- The historic environment is a highly significant contributor to Ireland’s national economy, directly
supporting almost 25,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.
- Including indirect and induced effects, it is estimated that the historic environment sector supports
approximately 40,000 FTE employment positions in Ireland.
- Within the context of Ireland’s economy, it is estimated that the historic environment’s contribution to the
national economy is equivalent to one percent of total Irish Gross Value Added (GVA), and two percent of overall employment.
- Ireland’s built historic environment constitutes an invaluable educational resource, and at all stages of
the lifelong learning spectrum. For example, not only are Ireland’s flagship heritage sites a major
source of school educational visits, they are also a focus of academic research and conference
- The role of Ireland’s historic environment in attracting private sector investment into Irish towns and
cities, and its contribution to enhancing quality of life/livability in these localities.
There are more benefits as well that can be seen in the report.
In October of 2011, Charles Mount blogged about the correlation of construction output and archaeological licences in Ireland. The correlation was such that you could predict with some confidence, either licences or construction output, from the other. Clever, but what drives the Canadian CRM industry?
Unfortunately, as pointed out recently in HBJ by Christopher Dore (17 February 2012), there is no North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for CRM archaeology and there are no country wide statistics on archaeological activity in Canada. Hence begins the quest for drivers for the Canadian CRM industry.
Initial speculation was that price of oil was a significant driver in the archaeological economies of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Both provinces have growing and diverse economies, but the petroleum industry is an important component of the economy. There is no single price of oil, but the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) produced a nice online summary of the price of light, sweet crude. Saskatchewan has both light and heavy crude. For this analysis I looked at the maximum weekly price for the year, the minimum weekly price for the year, and the closing price during the last week of the year.
Next I looked at the number of archaeological permits issued by Alberta and Saskatchewan between 2008 and 2011. There are a few differences in the numbers and types of permits that both provinces issue, but these are not material to the analysis. Overall for this time period, there was a sharp decline in 2009 with a slow recovery in 2010 and 2011.
The number of permits appears to be well correlated with the maximum price of oil (permits and oil prices are normalized to a maximum value of 100). Permits also correlated with the minimum and December close, however for the latter two, the price of oil leads the number of permits by a year. So the minimum price of oil sharply declined in 2008, the year with the highest price, but the decline in permits took place in 2009.
Does this make sense? It does. There is a base price to drill and if the price of oil is too low, it is better to scale back production until prices rise. My prediction is that given the high December closing price, the number of archaeological permits will increase in 2012.
What about other provinces? I am collecting data but I am curious what others think are the prime economic drivers of their regions.