Every time the jobs report comes out, we like to point out that contrary to claims that Obama is a SOCIALIST, all the jobs growth is coming via the private sector, not the public sector.
But by now everyone should know this point.
However we do think this chart of total private sector vs. public sector since January 2009 is interesting for one reason.
Note that private sector hiring (the blue line) didn’t really start turning around until the red line started shooting up in early 2010.
That was, of course, census hiring, and though temporary it is a stimulus that briefly employed 500K extra people. And it does put cash in the hands of the private sector, helping households to delever, even if only temporarily.
Now it could be a total fluke, but actually there is some basis for thinking its not.
Going back to 1960, we get a recession at the beginning of every decade, right after the decennial census is completed.
In normal times, with more or less full employment, you wouldn’t think of the census is being all that stimulative, since consumers aren’t deleveraging. But still, it is interesting that during the period of separations, right after all those government workers are let go, the economy does tend to shrink.