More On The Jobs The Administration Has “Saved”

Reuters is out with a report that the administration claims to have “created or saved 150,000 jobs” in the 100 days since the fiscal stimulus plan was signed.

“In every state across this country, people are at work who would not have been so but for the measures in this act,” Jared Bernstein, chief economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, told a conference call with reporters. “That’s a tremendous dose of medicine into an economy that’s finally showing some signs of breaking its fever.”

The White House, Bernstein said, is projecting what the level of employment would have been if the stimulus had not passed in February. It is then comparing that baseline to actual employment numbers. Using that method, Bernstein also expects another 600,000 jobs to be created or saved in the next 100 days.

“The fact that the unemployment rate is going up or the fact that we are losing jobs, again, should not be taken as evidence that the plan is ineffective,” Bernstein said. “To the contrary, the unemployment rate would rise more quickly, job loss would be deeper in the absence of the act.”

I’ve written before on the snake oil the administration is pedalling (link here). It is nothing more than political spin as there is no way to know how many jobs would have been lost had it not been for fiscal stimulus or for that matter the phases of the moon.

Here’s what I wrote before:

Here’s how the game they’re playing works. Remember that when they rolled out the stimulus bill they made a lot of claims about how many jobs it would create or save. The key word here is save and that was a new wrinkle from them.

Forget January, Obama wasn’t in power all month, let’s look at February through April. The numbers are from the BLS. In February non-farm employment was 133,652,000. In April it was 132,414,000 so arguably the economy lost 1,238,000 jobs. How then does the Obama administration claim to have created or saved 150,000 jobs.

The answer lies in the word saved that they introduced into the equation when they came out with their stimulus plan. Regardless of what the absolute numbers say about jobs lost or gained the administration can always claim that without their stimulus plan more jobs would have been lost therefore they saved those jobs. It’s a clever way to present their case since there is absolutely no way to refute their number. It’s a guess, an estimate and no fact exists to counter it.

Sorry to keep harping on this. It just gets under my skin. Whether it’s a Democratic or Republican administration it irks me when they throw out this kind of trash.

Once again, if you want to get really into this then visit Keith Hennessey’s blog on the subject.

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