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WARNING: Census Jobs Distort Economic Data, Not A Sign Of Recovery

March 10, 2010

With an unemployment rate of 9.7 percent and over 3 million jobs eliminated since Democrats’ 2009 stimulus, Americans desperately need and deserve some good news on jobs. At first blush, the suggestion by the U.S. Department of Commerce that the upcoming census could create as many as 800,000 jobs would appear to be just that. This notion was seconded in a March 9, 2010 article in The Hill titled “Census hiring blitz of 750,000 to cut jobless rate, offer boost to Obama.”

However, the chart below shows the reality behind these headlines: these temporary Federal government jobs disappear almost as fast as they are “created.” In fact, the Commerce Department report confirms this census will be no different when temporary workers hired in April are “laid off in early June.”  So, while any job is welcome, policy makers in Washington, DC, must not confuse real economic recovery with the coming spike in the number of temporary Federal government workers – many of whom will soon be forced to again ask: Where are the jobs? 

           Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics