Spending And Jobs

Cato’s Mark Calabria offers a chart to show that federal spending doesn’t create jobs:

Striking! But what if you look at the same data on a longer-scale:

Not so striking. It seems that both spending and total employment trend up over time because the population is growing, and there’s also a business cycle such that employment suffers periodic drops. It’s true that if you pick a random time slice that includes a recession, you can generate the Calabria “result,” but it’s silly to do so.