Despite Stimulus, 6 Million Benefit-Paying Jobs Vanish in One Year

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by Mike “Mish” Shedlock: Predictions
of War, Financial Bust, and MoreGloom



Based on population
growth, and even factoring in the number of retirees, the US should
have gained about 1 million jobs.

Analysis of
weekly unemployment data and covered employees shows that 5,977,844
benefit-paying jobs have been lost in the last year.

Click to enlarge

The above chart is from reader Tim Wallace. I added the date and
numeric annotations.

Employment Stats of Merit 

  • Covered
    employment is back to 2004 levels.
  • Close to
    6 million benefit-paying jobs have vanished in a year.
  • More than
    8 million benefit-paying jobs have vanished since the 2008 peak.

What Is
a Covered Employee?

The exact meaning
of "covered employee" varies slightly state to state,
but not by much. In simple terms it means one is eligible for unemployment
insurance benefits.

Most states
exclude the self-employed, commission-based employment such as real
estate agents, those in student-training programs, academic and
hospital internships, employment by churches or religious organizations,
and rehabilitation programs.

individuals must pay into unemployment insurance programs, however,
the self-employed aren’t eligible for benefits anywhere.

6 Million Jobs Vanish

By the above
interpretation, it’s safe to conclude that 5,977,844 jobs totally
vanished (not just benefit-paying jobs).

The only way
that can’t be true is if there was a sudden shocking increase in
the number of real estate agents, church hiring, or close to 6 million
people all of a sudden decided to go into business for themselves.

All of those
possibilities are highly unlikely to say the least.

Tim Wallace

ADDITIVE TREND from 2004 to 2008 of 1.9 million is now a net loss
of 8 million over the past two years:

Added From Previous Year
2004….126,276,670….Data from hard copy sheets
2008….133,902,387….1,278,501 average added per year = 1,906,429


Did the stimulus
save or create any jobs, or did we lose more than
8 million jobs in two years in spite of record amounts of stimulus?

Data including
the covered column is found on the US Department of Labor website,
Claims Data

Was There
a Massive Surge in Retirees?

Click to enlarge

There was no massive surge in retirees, so that can’t account for
the loss of benefit-paying jobs.


  • In October
    of 2006 there were 30,908,097 retirees.
  • In October
    of 2007 there were 31,467,071 retirees, an increase of 558,974.

  • In October
    of 2008 there were 32,222,895 retirees, an increase of 755,824.

  • In October
    of 2009 there were 33,366,881 retirees, an increase of 1,143,986.

  • In October
    of 2010 there were 34,463,650 retirees, an increase of 1,096,769.

on retirees is from the Social
Security Administration
. It undercounts retirees not in the
system so actual numbers would be somewhat higher.

the rest of the article

19, 2010

Mike "Mish"
Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific
Capital Management
. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm
whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless
of market direction.

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