Union address that, because of his administration's stimulus plan, 2 million Americans are "working right now who would otherwise be unemployed."
That figure was calculated by his Council of Economic Advisers. It includes the administration's estimate of 640,000 positions that were directly funded by the stimulus through Sept. 30, as well as any job that was touched or indirectly affected by stimulus money. On Saturday, the administration will release a new estimate of positions directly funded by the stimulus till the end of 2009.
The CNN Fact Check team dug into this and found that not every worker who has ever held a stimulus-funded position is necessarily still employed in that position. A number of stimulus-funded jobs were for temporary projects that have concluded. The administration says it has accounted for this by aggregating and combining temporary or part-time jobs into the equivalent of "job years," meaning the equivalent of a full-time job held for one year.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in a report in November that 600,000 to 1.6 million Americans were employed as a result of the stimulus plan, but that figure did not include stimulus jobs created or saved in December or January.
Despite the number of jobs either "saved" or "created" by the stimulus plan, the national unemployment rate remained at 10 percent as of December, up from 7.4 percent a year earlier. Though the December number is slightly lower than the 10.1 percent recorded in October 2009, it's still the highest unemployment rate since the 1980s recession. About 15.3 million Americans are out of work. Job-seekers outnumber openings by more than six to one, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
The administration says unemployment would be much worse if the stimulus program didn't exist. A year ago, the economy was losing 691,000 jobs per month, on average, in the first quarter. In December, the number was down to 85,000 jobs lost.
– CNN's Tami Luhby contributed to this report