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$280,000 per job   

2008-11-24 22:26:22|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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$280,000 per job

The Washington Post reports:

Facing an increasingly ominous economic outlook, President-elect Barack Obama and other Democrats are rapidly ratcheting up plans for a massive fiscal stimulus program that could total as much as $700 billion over the next two years....Obama has set a goal of creating or preserving 2.5 million jobs by 2011.

Dividing one number by the other, that works out to $280,000 per job.

What is going on here? Logically, it must be one of three possibilities:

1. The fiscal stimulus is going to be much smaller than is being reported.

2. The new administration is setting a low bar for itself when it comes to job creation.

3. The Obama team believes in very small fiscal policy multipliers.

Let me amplify the last point. The average weekly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers is about $600, or about $60,000 over a two-year period. Granted, labor income is only about two-thirds of national income, and we have to add a few supervisors into the mix. So let's say each job created means $100,000 of extra national income. If we are generating $100,000 of income with $280,000 of government spending, the multiplier is only 100/280, or 0.36. Traditional Keynesian models suggest a multiplier closer to 2.0.

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