It’s sometimes hard to explain how unemployment insurance doesn’t qualify as employment: after all, you’re being paid to perform a service, searching for a new job. From there, it’s a stones-throw to just saying those people are no longer unemployed, either by declaring them public employees, or putting them to work digging ditches.

And then there are times like this:

Siemens Energy is expanding its “smart grid” operations in Wake County, announcing Thursday that it will create 139 new jobs and invest $2.9 million in the project.

North Carolina is providing up to $2.6 million in tax incentives through a Job Development Investment Grant, or JDIG.

So we’re paying them (by not taking) $2.6mil to invest $2.9mil. The corporate welfare aspect aside, it’s hard to see this as the government paying people and calling them “employed”.

Oh, and those 139 jobs? Kinda pales in comparison to the 441,326 unemployed workers as of this August. A little less than one job per three thousand unemployed folks.

So why is this news?