Is stimulus creating jobs? Yes but ...

House committee reports 21,000 actual highway and transit jobs created or saved. White House says number is in line with its 150,000 jobs estimate.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Tami Luhby, CNNMoney.com senior writer

chart_stimulus_pie.03.gif
Map
How stimulus will help your state
The Obama administration says the Recovery Act created or saved 640,000 jobs through September. Here's a state-by-state breakdown.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- So just how many stimulus jobs have been created or saved so far?

The figure remains elusive, but Congress provided one of the first peeks this week by reporting that stimulus has funded 21,000 highway and transit jobs as of May 31.

The number, one of the first counts of actual stimulus-based employment, is based on state reports to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Thousands of indirect jobs -- such as the deli employee who prepares lunch for the construction crew or the workers who produce the steel needed for projects -- were also created or sustained.

The White House says the figure is in line with its projection that the $787 billion recovery act has created or saved 150,000 jobs in the administration's first 100 days. The 150,000 number, which includes direct and indirect positions, is an estimate based on the amount of stimulus funds spent. Each $92,000 of stimulus funds spent translates into one job, according to the White House formula.

Congressional Republicans, who have blasted the recovery act as wasteful spending that won't create nearly the number of jobs promised, took issue with the figure.

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., criticized the Obama administration for not reporting a specific number of jobs created or saved by stimulus-based infrastructure spending.

Mica, the ranking Republican on the transportation committee, pointed out that only 21,000 positions have been produced, though the committee's Democrats have said that the $64.1 billion in infrastructure spending would create or sustain more than 1.8 million jobs.

"This is pitiful that we can't get people working, we can't get the stimulus money out," Mica said. "People want jobs and they want them now."

In his weekly address, House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, also slammed the administration for failing to stem the rising unemployment tide. The unemployment rate rose to 9.4%, its highest level in 26 years. It's expected to climb to 9.6% when the June numbers are released next Thursday.

"All year long, Democrats here in Washington have made plenty of promises about putting Americans back to work, but I think the question is: Where are the jobs?" he said. "We all remember the trillion-dollar stimulus bill Democrats promised would be about jobs, jobs and jobs. And clearly all it's turned into is about spending, spending, and more spending."

Creating jobs

The administration said that the 21,000 construction jobs figure meshes with the 150,000 figure. The White House is also taking into account the jobs created or saved by stimulus money spent on tax cuts and entitlements, such as Medicaid. Much of the initial stimulus funds spent went to states to help them cope with rising Medicaid rolls.

"It's not just that we're paving I-57 in Illinois, how many jobs did that create?" Gavin said. "It's accounting for a much broader universe."

Testifying before the House committee Thursday, federal transportation officials updated their employment estimates. The Federal Transit Administration said that 19,000 jobs have been created or saved so far, and another 45,000 would be from the grants that are in progress. These figures are based on formulas.

Some 6,000 actual jobs have been created or saved by stimulus highway money, as of the end of May, according to the Federal Highway Administration. The agency estimates the 1,500 projects currently underway will ultimately create 50,000 positions. The agency's total $27.5 billion stimulus allocation is estimated to create or sustain 300,000 jobs by 2012.

"Federal agencies, states and their local partners have demonstrated that they can deliver transportation and infrastructure projects and create urgently needed employment in the tight timeframes set forth in the recovery act," said Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., who heads the transportation committee. To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
50 years of the Ford Mustang Take a drive down memory lane with our favorite photos of the car through the years. More
Cool cars from the New York Auto Show These are some of the most interesting new models and concept vehicles from the Big Apple's car show. More
8 CEOs who took a pay cut in 2013 Median CEO pay inched up 9% in 2013 to $13.9 million. But not everyone got a bump last year. Here are eight CEOs who missed out. More
Sponsors
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.