New figures were released this morning on Recovery.org about the estimated jobs saved and/or created from stimulus spending so far. The numbers are coming from the first-round of information reported by contractors earlier this month.
In Oklahoma, the results are underwhelming to say the least. According to the site, Oklahoma companies have signed 120 stimulus-related contracts so far for $92.3 million. And the jobs created or saved? Just 202.
Nationwide, about 30,300 jobs have been created or saved so far, according to data collected so far. That’s not much considering the economy needs to be creating about 100,000 jobs each month just to keep up with population growth.
One White House economist, Jared Bernstein, said it’s still too early to say whether the stimulus is working as intended. But he pointed to “private estimates” as proof that many more jobs are being created.
“It is too soon to draw any global conclusions from this partial and preliminary data, as it reports on just $16 billion of the $339 billion in Recovery Act efforts before September 30th, but the early indications are quite positive. The direct count by Recovery Act recipients of jobs created or saved from this small percentage of the Recovery Act exceeds our projections. All signs — from private estimates to this fragmentary data — point to the conclusion that the Recovery Act did indeed create or save about 1 million jobs in its first seven months, a much needed lift in a very difficult period for our economy. We look forward to the much larger, comprehensive report due on October 30th.”
Just last month, the president’s Council of Economic Advisers put out its estimates of stimulus-related job creation in the first-quarter. Here’s the relevant table:
Buried deep in the report, the council says it used three methodologies to estimate job impacts by state.
None of these three approaches does a perfect job of measuring the geographic distribution of employment effects, and each has advantages and disadvantages relative to the others. Thus, to obtain a reasonable estimate of state-level job impacts, we use a simple average of the three approaches.
Of course, simply because their populations are larger, we estimate that larger states have seen larger jobs impacts. Similarly, because their employment is more cyclically sensitive, industrial states are estimated to have had larger employment effects relative to their populations. Finally, both because of their industrial composition and because state fiscal relief and aid to those directly impacted have been larger in states hit harder by the recession, we estimate that states with higher unemployment rates at the time of passage have seen larger employment effects of the ARRA relative to their populations.
The Washington Post has a good wrap-up of the expectations created, and the reality of reporting job figures, here:
… Others say the reports being released this month will underscore the challenge of trying to quantify the jobs being created. Initial recipients of the stimulus money, and any government or company that they pass it on to, must report how they use the funds and how many jobs they create. But the reporting requirements do not apply to additional levels of contractors who receive the money.
My advice is to treat those early job numbers as estimates and best-guesses, at least until we get more information later this month and in the months to come.
To find out who’s getting stimulus contracts so far, just check out Recovery.gov. Here’s a list of the Oklahoma contracts signed as of earlier this month, either by Oklahoma companies or for work to be done in Oklahoma. (We also have a link to the state government’s stimulus site on our Right to Know page, which includes other databases of local interest.)
Written by Paul Monies