Right or wrong I’ll be with you, I’ll do what you ask me to. For I believe that I belong, by your side for right or wrong. These are the lyrics from a 1920 jazz standard that became a country music classic. Economists don’t often look back to see if they were right or wrong – unless that is when we are right.
Since I admitted my foibles in the last Monthly Manifesto, I wanted to take some credit in this blog post. Back in September, there was a reasonably large drop in the unemployment rate due mainly to a huge jump in part-time employment. At the time, I suggested that this happens every September during election years, and that the bump would dissipate by December. I was correct. As of December, part-time employment had fallen back to below August levels, and that held in January.
We believe that the September bump was due to hiring for political campaigns. There was a big push with both primaries and the general election heating up, and this dissipated quickly come November.
Yes Virginia, politicians can create jobs – only just on their campaigns!