back to article US census inflates latest employment numbers

The good news is that employment in the US is up. The bad news is that most of the rise is due to temporary government head-counters. Barack Obama doesn't have a lot to be thankful for since moving into the White House a year and a half ago, what with the economic meltdown, the mess of healthcare reform, and now the oil slick in …

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Headmaster

Computer makers add, service providers cut jobs

Computer makers add what?

That is all.

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Hmmm

I thought all those banks that Bush allowed to back trucks up the the treasury were actually supposed to pay that money back? Last i heard GM had started doing so, as had most recipients of Obama's stimulus...

...have the banks? Not trolling, I'm genuinely curious. I remember there being a brouhaha about the Bush stimulus money not being properly accounted for or tracked, so I am unsure how anyone would eve know if it was paid back. Better question: did Obama, after said brouhaha, ensure that all the stimulus money he handed out was traced, and did they go after defaulters on those loans?

I ask largely because if the companies have used the money to return to profitability and started paying back those loans, maybe America has a chance of not actually running a federal deficit sometime in the next decade? If it can reverse the federal financial mismanagement, then the crippling interest paid to China etc. won’t be tearing their economy to shreds.

…or did none of that make sense at all?

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Let me lend you your money for a not-so-small fee

We've "saved" the banks a couple of times here in Sweden the past decades and exactly nil, zero (0) times have any of them seen it fit to pay anything back. On the contrary they keep increasing the fees (of which there are many new ones popping up) while lowering the interest rates.

To be fair they did get our money from our elected politicians without any requirements.

My summary: Business as usual.

:)

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Not Bush, Democrats in Congress

Bush tried to head off the loan collapse by requesting changes to loaning rules, but Barney Frank (backed up by Obama and Chris "low rate personal loans" Dodd wanted to "roll the dice some more."

Now as for the banks, it depends on exactly which ones you're talking about. Many have already repaid the Treasury, with interest. The ones who are pretty much Democrat subsidiaries, not so much. The catch is, The Big 0 hasn't put the money back into the General Fund he's kept in the TARP fund (aka The Big 0's slush fund) to loan out to "financial" institutions like GM. That's money were never going to see back again. Sort of like all the stock in the same company we now "own."

As for whether or not we can avoid total collapse, that depends pretty much on the fall elections. If conservative Republicans don't take back at least one branch of Congress, those chances will be diminishing.

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FAIL

never mind TARP

Look at all the zero percent money the banks are still getting from the fed and not lending out. Yeah, they're still sitting on it. Makes their numbers look good to have all that cash on hand while in fact they're broke because of their own greedy mis-management. It's not just the corrupt democrats. it's the corrupt republicans, too. if a single one of them was doing their job properly instead of being bought off by big business we wouldn't be in this mess.

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TARP

Last I heard 75% of the money used to bail out banks was paid back, but that was a while ago.

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Headmaster

Numbers games

Expect more of the same --

During the Thatcher reign the definition for 'unemployed' was changed over 20 times and, miraculously, the number of 'unemployed' people dropped each time.

The number of people really out of work increased.

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How many people does it take to count people?

Does anyone else find it fishy that the U.S. government has hired over half a million people to count less than half a billion?

So each census employee is responsible for counting under 1000 people. Gee, even going door-to-door, entering everything by hand and then typing it in, cross-referencing against a database, doing manual data cleansing, and performing re-checks, I figure I could do that at half an hour a head. 500 hours = 62.5 work days = 12.5 work weeks. And that's not considering that over half the population already sent in scannable responses, so it's more like 500 people I might need to count.

Being as generous as possible, I can't see hiring these people for more than 3 months. HOW long have they been employed already?

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Anonymous Coward

@JoeTheAnnoying - How temporary are those jobs?

The answer is very temporary. Your estimate of 3 months is on the long side. The temp. census canvassing jobs typically last 6-12 weeks, with a week of that time spent in training classes. By August, you can expect better than 75% of those hired for census work to be back on the unemployment rolls. By end of September, you can raise that percentage to around 95%.

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Not simply fishy, but outright rotten.

The agency has publicly stated that they intentionally over-hired to insure they had enough people at the start. What hasn't so publicly been admitted is that they hired people for a week of training then laid them off. A week or so later, they hired them back again and counted both hirings as "new."

I've been fully disinvested from stocks for almost a year now and am not likely to get back in any time soon.

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Census Work

I spoke Saturday with a Census Worker at a picnic. She's making about $12/hr, been told just to wander around to fill in the time, and take as much time at home on her computer researching Google Maps, for which she is paid. Not a bad temp job for college student.

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