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From 8.9% to 9.4% in May.

US Unemployment Rate

US Unemployment Rate

Former White House spokesman Tony Fratto is less than impressed with the current administration’s claim that thousands of jobs created have been created by the stimulus plan:

After nearly twenty years in Washington I thought I’ve seen every trick ever conceived, but the White House claims of “jobs saved” attributed to the stimulus bill is unrivaled. What causes the jaw to drop is not just the breathtaking deception of the claim, but the gullibility of the Washington press corps to continue reporting it.

News stories from President Obama’s event last week hailing the 100-day mark since the stimulus was passed typically repeated the assertion that the stimulus has already “created or saved 150,00 jobs.” (“And that’s just the beginning,” the President crowed.)

Here’s an important note to my friends in the news media: the White House has absolutely no earthly clue how many job losses have been prevented because of the stimulus bill. None.

Forget that only a trickle of stimulus spending has yet made its way into the real economy. Set aside your views on whether or not the stimulus has any job-saving or -creating impact. And leave for another day the White House’s failing to account for changing macroeconomic conditions and seasonal adjustments.

There is only one necessary data point to make the “jobs-saved” claim: an accurate measure of expected employment levels in the future. That baseline data is critical to measure what the employment level would be in the absence of the stimulus. Unfortunately for the White House, they cannot possibly know that measurement within any degree of confidence — and they know it …

A self-respecting press corps would vigorously question the White House on their claims. We’ll see if we have one.

Anyone want to put money on it?

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