Inquiring minds are asking the question “How many jobs were created out of the various stimulus programs so far and at what cost per job?”

That is a good question. Not that we can believe the reported number of jobs created, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that the figures provided by the administration are correct.

White House Hails Stimulus Jobs

The Financial Times is reporting White House hails 650,000 stimulus jobs.

The US economic stimulus programme has directly created or saved 640,000 jobs so far, the White House said on Friday as it battled to find ways to show that its \$787bn package was working, despite persistently high unemployment.

Data this week showed that the US economy had started to grow again but the Obama administration has faced rising criticism that it wasted taxpayers’ money on the stimulus.

The White House tried to counter this by championing the jobs figures and even uploading videos to its website showing the dollars in action. The figures showed around half of the jobs were in education and 12.5 per cent were in construction.

“These reports are strong confirmation that…we are on-track to create and save 3.5m jobs through the Recovery Act by the end of next year,” said Joe Biden, vice president.

But criticism has mounted this week over the accuracy of some preliminary stimulus data released by the White House. Even the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think-tank which has fervently supported the stimulus, said there were serious problems with the figures.

Bear in mind it is impossible to prove how many jobs were created and it is beyond preposterous to think one can estimate the number of jobs saved.

However, let’s take the administration’s estimates at face value.

Inquiring minds want the official numbers on which to base the cost per job created. So please consider the administration’s own numbers as reported on Track The Money Recovery.Gov as of October 30, 2009.

Let’s do the math.

Math To Date

Funds paid out so far = \$83.8 billion + \$52.1 billion + \$71.4 billion = \$207.3 billion
\$207,300,000,000 / 640,329 = \$323,739.83 per job created

Plan Goals Math

Now let’s assume this stimulus package will eventually create (or save) 3.5 million jobs and all the money (but no more) will be spent.

Here’s the math again.

\$787,000,000,000 / 3,500,000 = \$224,857.14 per job created

Top States

There is much more information on the site and a quick look at the projects shows many of them are for temporary jobs such as highway repair and weatherizing homes.

Amazingly, the White House is championing the above numbers. Apparently they forgot to do the math (or they are praying no one else will).

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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