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Vice President Biden May Be Right on Jobs – If Temporary, Part-Time Census Work Counts as “Job Creation”

April 30, 2010

One week ago, Vice President Biden predicted that “some time in the next couple of months we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.”  That the Administration is making job predictions at all may seem surprising given their dubious record on predicting job growth and unemployment rates.  For example, instead of creating 3.7 million jobs and holding unemployment under 8 percent as they promised, Democrats’ $1 trillion 2009 stimulus law was followed by 3 million more lost jobs and unemployment reaching 10 percent.

Amazingly, however, Vice President Biden’s latest prediction is one Administration job forecast that may turn out to be correct – if Census jobs that last “on average, about 19 hours per week for six weeks” count as “job creation.”  As the chart below suggests, if Census hiring this spring follows trends in 1990 and 2000, the coming months could see huge leaps in such government “job creation.”   However, these jobs will fade away just as quickly as they came.  If this is the “good planning” the Vice President describes, he might want to check back around Labor Day to see if his latest job predictions still hold.


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Ways and Means Republican staff projections based on prior BLS data.  Note that January-March 2010 data is actual, and April-December 2010 data is projected based on the 1990 to 2000 trends for those months.