January 28th, 2010
02:43 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN Fact Check: Are 2 million Americans working because of stimulus?

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


Filed under: SOTU fact check • Stimulus
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Mike in MN

    Not even close.

    January 28, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. dan smith

    People are tired of the lies. Where is Ronald Reagan when we need him. Why must we settle for mediocre polititians when Reagan showed us the way to prosperity.

    January 28, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    2 million in the auto related industry are working because of Obama. Remember, the party of tax cuts wanted the American auto industry to fail, and put the union members out of work.

    January 28, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. bill

    So whats the point, You do a fact check and present what the WHite House says, then a figure form CBO that could be 1/4 of what Obama said, or it could be 4 times that.

    I think that answers the question, any math that is that unrelaible is obviously so flawed as to not be trusted.

    SO I ll take my common sense. Let me complete the article as you should have:

    FACT CHECK FINDINGS : WE HAVE NO IDEA BECAUSE THE WHOLE PREMISE IS REDICULOUS

    January 28, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. dan smith

    Unfortunately there will never be another Ronald Reagan. But we did manage to find another Jimmy Carter.

    January 28, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Ancient Texan

    As long as we're pulling pie in the sky numbers out of the air, why not create or save the jobs of the 17 Million people who are really out of work? Not the seasonally adjust hogwash to come out on a monthly report.

    January 28, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. No More Incumbents

    What? Did someone believe him?

    January 28, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    So if he gave a number he should know is not correct, that would be a lie then. I can't believe I still see blog entries saying "when did Obama ever lie?". Try paying attention.

    January 28, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. C Spurgeon

    Cnn used to be the centrist network..no longer..they have moved too far to the ever critical right. Their paid pundits and even their so called journalist are totally involved with substantiating right opinions and no longer seem objective. Fox is wacko right, MSNBC is wacko left in many cases and Cnn has moved to mostly republican opines.

    We need a new network for centrist or independents. Investigate, research and discuss issues without opinions dominating everything...Guess I watch local news..or better yet go for walks.

    January 28, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Fever

    You’re completely missing the point on the jobs question. Of course stimulus spending will create jobs no matter how wasteful or appropriate that spending is. The problem is that every dollar spent needs to be paid back. So it's ultimately a question of who is most likely to spend that money more efficiently the Government or the people? When you factor in costs of collecting taxes, interest paid on Government debt and poorly spent stimulus monies the answer to that question has got to be the people.

    January 28, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. MatthewDetroit

    The president is a dirty liar.
    No one has ever played games with numbers like this clown does.

    The fact is the county has an umemployment rate of 10.2%.

    The liar is what the liar is.

    He is spending 180 billion extra on stimulus.
    He added 1.45 Trillion to the national debt last year.
    He is adding 1.35 Trillion to the national debt next year...

    But he is proposing freezing 15billion.
    WHat a joke you are barack. A liar and a joke.

    January 28, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. MatthewDetroit

    Guy is a liar.

    Then he takes a shot at the Supreme Court.
    What a joke for a president.
    No respect.

    This guy should be pushed out of office.

    January 28, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Hammerer

    Smoke and mirrors

    January 28, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. mimi

    My husband and I have both benfitted from stimulus 500.00 My son bought his 1st house 8000.00 . My older son received extended unemployment and cobra help .He has found another job paying more than before we are pleased .But if you ask anyone about how it helped them they act dumb but maybe they needed millions for fell good about it.

    January 28, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. ASMA

    You hashed some words together and did not show whether it is true or false... Is this the best reporting you can do... There are many resources you can use to check and calculate these numbers and as a major media, it should be quite easy for you... Whoever did this report is either lazy to dig and findout or just plain not ready to do such a thing... Sad when we need the media the most, we get just hash and rants...

    January 28, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. jp,michigan

    Stimulus money provided for temporary jobs. This administration is full of miscalculations and facts. The strongly believe the American people are stupid. So stupid that we believe anything that comes out of Obama's mouth. Guess again, Mr. President!

    January 28, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Perry

    So is the answer yes or no?

    January 28, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  18. Alan

    Everyone knows that this is propaganda. The unemployment rate has shot from less than 8 to over 10 percent with this so-called stimulus plan. The White House continues to make these outrageous claims.

    Ex: A company with 100 employees gets a job on a stimulus road project and still lays off 25 people. The white house spin would be 150 jobs created. The 75 current employees, and another 75 people for all of the money they are going to spend thus keeping others in jobs. Reality: 25 people loss their JOB!!!!

    Come on America, we can do better than this DUD of a Prez!!!!!!!

    January 28, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. Tom in Delaware

    Is it so hard for CNN to use the word "FALSE"....the more you try to protect this guy the worse it gets for your own credibility.

    January 28, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  20. Greg, MN

    How many jobs were listed as saved/created when the WH bought one new lawnmower with stmulus money? The WH website claims 50 thats 5-0 jobs. I think it clearly illustrates the FRAUD

    January 28, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. Personal responsibility, please.

    The numbers of this administration are garbage.

    With unemployment officially at 10% and unofficially at 17% (those that gave up looking for jobs and are no longer counted), I'd say that it is more reasonable to say that 3,000,000 – 6,000,000 JOBS LOST!

    January 28, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  22. gary davis harbor oregon

    have Orin Hatch put them to work on the turkey farms and tell hatch to shut up about the protecting the idiot justice .. hes a joke as for being an impartial jurist . man has issues ,and he showed them last night ,,again hes a joke and should step down . jerk :)

    January 28, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  23. Big Joe

    What a joke that claim is, anyway. It's just a fudged number.

    January 28, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  24. Mrs. S Callahan

    Good job CNN...get the truth.

    January 28, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  25. damian

    hmm, lets take the 2 million figure. That means JOE Q tax payer forked out $425,000 per job...

    Yeah, Obamanomics makes sense...

    January 28, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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