According to new White House economic data, the federal stimulus package has saved or created 650,000 jobs since it was rolled out earlier this year. But wait a second, TheStreet.com’s Glenn Hall says; with stimulus spending at around $150 billion, this means that each job costs the government roughly $230,000, or four times the median household income. Ultimately, the government hopes the stimulus will create 3.5 million jobs after it’s all been spent (we’re only about a fifth of the way through), but the early numbers don’t look particularly strong, Hall writes. According to Recovery.gov site, 30,000 jobs have been directly saved by federal contracts, while the rest of the jobs presumably came from a trickle-down effect. Moreover, Hall notes, if we follow the money, it looks as though a lot of bailout money has gone to big companies that have yet to actually create jobs. Lockheed Martin was given $165.9 million, Northrop Grumman received $57.6 million, and Sanofi-Aventis got $373.6 million, although none of these companies have actually created any jobs. “Maybe,” Hall suggests, “the White House needs to create a few jobs itself to get a better tracking system.”
The Washington Post reports:
It won’t be called stimulus. And it won’t cost anything close to $787 billion. But, despite record budget deficits, House leaders plan to pour more cash into piecemeal measures aimed at creating jobs and maintaining a safety net for the unemployed in hopes of preventing a still-fragile economy from lapsing back into recession, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday.
For every public job created by a bridge project a private job has been destroyed somewhere else. We can see the men employed on the bridge. We can watch them at work…But there are other things that we do not see, because, alas, they have never been permitted to come into existence.
Carpe Diem has an excellent interactive map showing job gains/losses for the 20 largest Canadian and 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas from July 2002 through July 2008. Some details on the statistics:
1. You can see that the jobless recovery in the U.S. following the 2001 recession lasted well into 2003, with the jobless rate peaking in June 2003, and widespread, solid job gains not returning until 2004.
2. You can see the spike in job losses in the Louisiana area following the twin hurricanes of Katrina (August 2005) and Rita (September 2005).
3. During the years 2004, 2005 and 2006, there were consistent job gains around the country, until some job losses start showing up in Michigan in the fall of 2006, and those job losses in Michigan continued into 2007, and then really worsened in 2008 and 2009.
4. The next area of job losses leading into the recession was in Florida, starting in mid-2007, followed by job losses starting in California by the end of 2007.
5. By the middle of 2008 job losses were mounting, but were most heavily concentrated in California, Florida and Michigan. There were still employment increased in the central part of the U.S., especially in Texas and Oklahoma, and also job growth in the NYC-DC-Boston-Philadelphia area. Almost all areas of Canada were still experiencing job growth in June 2008.
6. By the fall of 2008, jobs losses were widespread across the U.S., except for Texas and Oklahoma; and by the spring of 2009 almost the entire country was experiencing job losses. Even into the summer of 2009, some parts of Canada were still seeing job gains, and it seems obvious that the Canadian economy survived the recession better than the U.S., at least in terms of jobs losses.
USA Today reports that according to the Department of Labor, “the number of job seekers competing for each opening has reached the highest point since the recession began:”
The employment report released earlier this week shows that the recession has hit education. According to the data, September education employment fell by 0.9%, or 121,000 jobs, since September 2008. This is the largest drop since data began being collected in the 1950s:
From the Chicago Tribune staff editorial:
Members of the Chicago City Council, take a look at the map above. What do you see? You see 44 dots. Every dot is a Wal-Mart in the Chicago area. Every dot is a place where people go to work and draw a paycheck. Every dot produces sales tax revenue. Every dot caters to people who want to buy shoes and socks and TVs and tires and whatever else draws them to Wal-Mart. If we widened this map to take in all of Illinois, there would be 148 dots. If we widened it again to take in all of the U.S., there would be 3,514 dots.
So, aldermen. How’s that campaign going to protect Chicagoans from the scourge of working for Wal-Mart?
Construction of the store would create 200 jobs. The store, once it was running, would provide nearly 500 jobs. But the City Council wants none of that, so all the Chicagoans who like to shop at Wal-Mart and all the Chicagoans who would like to work at Wal-Mart have to go to one of those dots on the map. They’re all in the suburbs, save the one Wal-Mart that has been allowed to open in Chicago.
Organized labor doesn’t like Wal-Mart because Wal-Mart doesn’t have union jobs. It just has jobs (with an average hourly wage of $12.05 in Chicago). The aldermen, of course, already have jobs. They get paid $110,556 a year and they figure that as long as they keep the labor unions off their backs, they’ll keep making $110,556 a year.
Who says the City Council doesn’t generate jobs? If you’re one of the 50 aldermen, your unemployment rate is 0 percent. But the unemployment rate for the rest of Chicago is above 10 percent. One in 10 Chicagoans is out of work. Many of the aldermen think that if you’re a constituent and you’re unemployed you can just go look somewhere else. You want to get a paycheck from Wal-Mart? Go take a hike to one of those dots on the map. Go take a hike to those clueless suburbs.