NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The economic stimulus program has boosted employment by 1.5 million to 2 million jobs, the president's chief economic adviser said Wednesday.
The Obama administration estimate includes both jobs directly funded by stimulus money, as well as those created indirectly by companies buying supplies for stimulus projects, people spending their stimulus tax cuts and the like.
The report, by the Council of Economic Advisers, is likely to spark sharp reactions from the Obama administration's critics who argue that the $787 billion package has failed to deliver on its promises.
To be sure, the economy has continued to lose jobs despite stimulus – shedding 85,000 in December. The administration, however, maintains that things would have been much worse without the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – Lawmakers in both the House and Senate introduced bills this week to push the deadline to apply for unemployment benefits to as far back as 2011.
Congress last month passed a record-long extension of federally paid benefits, but the law only helps those who exhaust their lifelines by year's end. So while unemployment benefits now run as long as 99 weeks, depending on the state, not everyone will receive checks for that long a stretch.
If the deadline is not extended beyond Dec. 31, one million jobless Americans will lose their benefits in January. Some three million people will stop receiving checks by March, according to the National Employment Law Project.
Some 9 million people currently depend on jobless benefits. The government reported Friday that 10% of Americans are out of work and more than a third have been unemployed for at least six months.
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) – The largest stimulus program in the nation's history has created or saved at least 650,000 state and local jobs, according to a report released by the Obama administration on Friday.
Based on approximately $150 billion in spending from the $787 billion recovery package, the tally is the first broad, concrete look at the stimulus program's impact on the economy. The numbers are drawn from tens of thousands of reports from state and local recipients as well as private companies.
The White House said the actual number of jobs created so far is likely closer to 1 million, since its report on stimulus job creation only focused on $150 billion of the $339 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds spent so far.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Just as federal officials seek to wind down many bailout programs, the Obama administration announced Monday yet another initiative to prop up the housing market.
Administration officials unveiled a plan to aid state and local housing finance agencies, which provide mortgages to first-time and lower-income homebuyers and enable the development or rehabilitation of rental properties. Officials declined to put a pricetag on the program, but said there would be no cost to taxpayers.
"This initiative is critical to helping working families maintain access to affordable rental housing and homeownership in tough economic times," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
Under the initiative, the Treasury Department, along with Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500), will purchase housing bonds issued by the finance agencies. This will give the groups the funding needed to make new loans. Also, the government will provide a temporary credit program to allow the agencies to refinance their existing bonds to more favorable terms.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – More than a million people could receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits under a bill approved by the House on Tuesday.
The bill extends benefits for those living in states with jobless rates higher than 8.5%. Some 27 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, fall into this category. The national unemployment rate hit 9.7% in August, the highest in 26 years.
The legislation now moves to the Senate. While there is support for the measure on both sides of the aisle, senators may make significant changes to it. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., is seeking to expand the bill to give additional weeks of benefits to people in all states, not just high unemployment ones, an aide said.
Senate Republicans, meanwhile, want to look at other funding approaches, said a spokesman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.