The White House sounded a triumphant note Friday about the success of the economic stimulus in salvaging and creating close to 650,000 jobs in recent months, but some Republicans, along with the AP, are questioning the accuracy of the government’s figures. —KA
The Associated Press via Google News:
New job numbers from businesses, contractors, state and local governments, nonprofit groups and universities were released, showing 640,329 positions credited to the stimulus, according to the independent federal board monitoring the program’s progress.
Teachers and other education employees represent the largest number of jobs in the report — about 325,000. With state budgets in crisis, federal aid helped governors avoid major cuts in education, which officials said spared many teachers and school workers from the unemployment line.
But Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, voicing the skepticism of many critics, has warned about putting too much stock in claims that the stimulus saved that many jobs. Chris Johnston, who oversees Indiana’s stimulus spending for Daniels, said Friday the state reported under the stimulus requirements that 13,000 teaching jobs were created or saved. But he’s not sure whether any of those people actually would have been laid off.
[...] The new stimulus report follows the administration’s admission that earlier counts of jobs credited to the stimulus were faulty. A review by the Associated Press found the government’s early report overstated thousands of jobs saved or created.
Despite White House promises that errors would be corrected, the latest stimulus job count still includes mistakes such as the ones discovered in the AP’s earlier sampling of contracts.