Thursday, October 08, 2009

A JOLT of gross 

Even though we are still experiencing a daily net loss of jobs it's important to remember that there are about 200,000 hires every working day Lots of firms are hiring. In order to increase employment a payroll tax cut need not shift firms "from firing to hiring" it need only increase the hiring rate of those firms already hiring or on the margin of hiring.
Alex Tabarrok discussing data from the JOLTS report from BLS. In May I discussed the context of saying the stimulus had saved or created jobs. Vice President Joe Biden has now upped the 150,000 claim to a million, which has earned him some derision from conservative quarters.But the proper context for the number is that 29 million hires have happened since January, and he's claiming that the stimulus made one of those 29. Or he could say 32 million jobs were lost in the first seven months, and it would have been 33 without the stimulus. Or something in between. Fine, but in that context the number isn't so large. And, of course, many of those jobs may be temporary: Last week's job report showed that 1.4 million workers completed temporary jobs in September, up almost 500,000 from a year ago.

You can click the JOLTS report tomorrow and update my figures for August.

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