Friday, May 8, 2009

The 2010 Census Workers: A Distortion of the Unemployment Numbers

This morning, last month's national rate of unemployment was released and it was just shy of 9 percent (See Full Story). The news is reporting a "surprise" and a "slower than expected loss of jobs" but, there is a significant hidden fact in all this hoopla.

Right now the Federal government is in the process of hiring in excess of 1 million workers for the 2010 Census. In just the last month, they hired 66,000 census workers and, that fact alone, probably kept this unemployment report below 9 percent.

Let's put this census worker hiring into perspective. This is like sweeping dirt under the rug; and, eventually that dirt will see the light of day. These census workers are really delaying the inevitable and distorting the true rate of unemployment because, when the census is all over, this country will see an almost immediate jump in the unemployment rate when these million workers come back into the real world; without jobs; and, back on the streets. When that happens, I would hope to hell that this economy is healthy enough, once again, to absorb the shock of this many workers being unemployed. Further, I would hope that the Obama Administration is both upfront (Transparent!) with the effect of these census workers on the job situation and not try to use them in the touted "save and create" 2 to 2-1/2 million jobs. The addition of these workers has nothing to do with the effects planned as part of his nearly $800 billion stimulus package and Obama should not be playing games by taking credit for their reduction of the unemployment scene.

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