The Stimulus Plan is the key to Barack Obama’s claim that he has helped create and save jobs. But it is all a word game, as indicated by this report released by the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (the state’s official name), stating that 1,703 jobs have been created by Stimulus funding. As reported by the Providence Journal:
On Thursday — the same day federal authorities reported that direct federal spending has created only six jobs in Rhode Island — the governor’s Office of Economic Recovery and Reinvestment said it had told the federal government that stimulus money funneled through the state has paid for work equating to 1,703 jobs.
But there is a catch. These are not real full-time jobs. They are “full-time job equivalents”:
A full-time equivalent accounts for part-time and seasonal jobs by tallying them as a proportional fraction of a full-time job.
In other words, temporary and part-time job hours are added up and then converted to a full-time job equivalent. These are not full-time jobs as any normal person would understand the concept. This is a linguistic game which surely will be used to inflate claims of Stimulus Plan success.
Add to this gamesmanship the reality that most of the full-time job equivalents were in the public sector. The RI Department of Education accounted for over one-third of the full-time job equivalents.
But don’t blame the RI Governor’s Office, which was honest about the minimal impact:
Amy Kempe, spokeswoman for Governor Carcieri, said at a Friday afternoon news conference that that number “doesn’t really have much impact on the 75,000 Rhode Islanders who are out of work today.”
Of course “full-time job equivalents” do not have any real impact. These are not real full-time jobs. I need to come up with a better term. Any suggestions?
UPDATE: Don Surber asks What is 0.02 jobs? What kind of a question is that? “0.02” of a job is two-one hundreths of a “full-time job equivalent” or the amount of time it took a temporary summer student hired with stimulus funds to figure out how to fill out a W-4 form.