Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two Ways of Counting Jobs

Economists measure employment in a very specific way. We look at the number of people employed as well as the number of people unemployed. In addition we use the establishment survey to get a count of the number of non-farm payroll jobs in the economy.

Politicians count things a little differently.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - How much are politicians straining to convince people that the government is stimulating the economy? In Oregon, where lawmakers are spending $176 million to supplement the federal stimulus, Democrats are taking credit for a remarkable feat: creating 3,236 new jobs in the program's first three months.

But those jobs lasted on average only 35 hours, or about one work week. After that, those workers were effectively back unemployed, according to an Associated Press analysis of state spending and hiring data. By the state's accounting, a job is a job, whether it lasts three hours, three days, three months, or a lifetime...

 

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