Latest Stimulus Report Fuels Jobs Pressure

Louise Radnofsky and Corey Boles
Wall Street Journal
January 31, 2010

Recipients of economic-stimulus money said 599,108 workers were being paid by the funds in the last quarter of 2009, fewer than the number of jobs attributed to the package in the seven months after it was enacted.

The recipients’ reports, published on the official government Web site late Saturday, are likely to fuel further controversy over the impact of the $787 billion package, as Democrats craft new jobs-creation proposals to address the country’s 10% jobless rate. Many opinion polls suggest that most voters don’t believe the current stimulus program, which was passed last February, is working.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, said the administration was seeking a jobs bill that would cost approximately $100 billion. “The president hopes that the next order of business the Senate will take up is this package,” he said.

The administration could face difficulty explaining how the reports square with its own calculations that the plan kept between 1.5 million and two million jobs in the economy through the end of 2009.

In his State of the Union address to Congress last week, President Barack Obama said that “because of the steps we took, there are about two million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed.”

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