Quick Takes | Jobs and Unemployment

Recovery.gov jobs number a sliver of the total

In the first batch of data reported from recipients of Recovery Act funds, the Web site Recovery.gov said on October 15 that 30,383 new jobs had been created so far. This is an important first step toward greater government transparency, but it should not be interpreted as an accurate number of all the jobs created by spending under the $787 billion Recovery Act passed last February.
Recovery.gov’s initial report represents only $16 billion in awarded contracts, meaning that it excludes jobs created or saved by grants, loans, tax cuts, or any relief spending, such as unemployment insurance and food stamps or state fiscal assistance. In addition, this initial report only measures direct employment. It does not count “respending” jobs, such as those created or saved indirectly by workers’ new spending and consumption, or “upstream” jobs, created or saved at companies that manufacture, transport, or sell the supplies used by recipients of Recovery Act investments. EPI believes the Recovery Act is on track to create 3 to 4 million jobs over two years. –Kathryn Edwards

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