January 28th, 2010
02:43 PM ET
13 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. Obama - worse Presidet ever.

    The fact is 2 million Americans are not working because of the stimulus plan. Obama's numbers are inflated and adjusted to appear to show what he wants. It's Marxism people. Obama will only give the American people the info that he wants us to hear. He will create and manufacture numbers and lists. Face the facts. He scolds anyone that does not agree with him and claims that they are keeping him from doing his job yet he says in the same breath he is doing a great job. What a lier this nation has selected to hold the position of President. A areal monkey could have done a better job!

    January 28, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. Gerald J. Smith

    Credibility should not be a concern with this administration as compared to the "Bush Years"; whereas, we as Americans accepted lies for each newscycle. So, trust that the numbers are what the admininstration states they are unless you simple want a creation of controversy. Also, trust that this admininstration will fix the problems created during the "Bush Years".

    January 28, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  3. Keith in Austin

    Our liberal Congress just voted to raise the debt ceiling to $14.3 TRILLION to cover Big Government spending through 2010. That equates to $45,000 owed by every living American, man, woman and child!

    Today Obozo spent $8 BILLION on a choo choo train in FLA that no one will ride because they don't have jobs. Liberals are totally out of control and EVERY last one of them need to be banished from politics when they run for re-election.

    Obozo's spending freeze is a total farce and shame on ANYONE that believes his wicked smoke and mirrors game!

    January 28, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. Nick Nickum

    Discussion of the alleged 2 Million jobs created or saved by the Stimulus always misses a key point. Even if you can show that the money spent paid 2 million people's salary for a year, that isn't the end of it. The money had to come from somewhere. It wasn't under the President's mattress.

    All the money was borrowed and that borrowing has job consequences too. I know a local bank that invested in another $20 Million of government bonds this year. That money, which the government spent, would otherwise have been loaned out by the local bank for car loans, house loans, etc., all of which help creat jobs.

    The real question is whether there was any "net gain" of jobs through this system. I would argue no. For all the jobs you are creating with your stimulous you are losing others elsewhere, whether from money borrowed or money taken in taxes.

    January 28, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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