NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The White House unveiled Thursday the first hard data on how many jobs the $787 billion recovery act has created.
So far, 30,383 jobs have been created by companies that have gotten $2.2 billion worth of stimulus contracts directly from the federal government. That equates to $71,500 per job based on just the funds that have been distributed.
These firms have been awarded a total of $16 billion.
Stimulus-fueled job creation has become a very controversial issue. The White House has faced blistering attacks by Republicans, who contend that the recovery act has failed to live up to its promise to put Americans back to work.
The Obama administration downplayed the reports released Thursday, saying they represent just a small sliver of the stimulus that's been spent, since the massive recovery act was enacted in February. The first reports detailing the number of stimulus jobs created or saved were submitted last weekend by
recipients of stimulus-funded contracts, grants and loans.
"It is too soon to draw any global conclusions from this partial and preliminary data, as it reports on just $16 billion of the $339 billion in Recovery Act efforts before September 30th, but the early indications are quite
positive," said Jared Bernstein, chief economist for Vice President Joe Biden.
"The direct count by Recovery Act recipients of jobs created or saved from this small percentage of the Recovery Act exceeds our projections."
The majority of stimulus funds spent so far have gone to state and local governments. Their reports will be released on Oct. 30, though some governors have already revealed preliminary data. In California, for instance, stimulus funds received by state agencies have created or saved more than 100,000 jobs.