First 100 days (of the stimulus bill)

May 28, 2009 in Economics

The White House is praising the stimulus bill, saying that it has created 150,000 jobs in its first 100 days.

Unfortunately, in the last 100 days 9,000,000 people filed jobless claims for the first time.  Thus, the stimulus bill has offset less than 2% of the jobs lost, or - to spin it positively - has created almost 2 jobs for every 100 people fired. (Yes, there's a distinction between layoffs and initial claims. I'm not making it.)

Obama's advisors expect the bill to ultimately create 3-4mm jobs (i.e. 33-44 day's worth of losses). Some conservative commentators are using the information that 14% of the stimulus funding has been spent to extrapolate 150k jobs linearly and suggesting only 1mm jobs will be created. I think that approach is a bit ridiculous, but I nonetheless suggest refraining from celebration until there is something worth celebrating.

98% of people who have recently been fired probably agree.

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