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Bad Math Accounts for 20,000 Extra Stimulus Jobs

Stimulus Spending

The White House overcounted the number of jobs created or saved by the federal economic stimulus, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

The Obama administration said Friday that federal economic stimulus spending had directly created or saved about 640,000 jobs through Sept. 30.  Republicans challenged the claim, and an analysis by the Wall Street Journal supports the Republican challenge.

The number of jobs created or saved by the federal economic stimulus  could be overstated by at least 20,000, according to the WSJ analysis. The confusion apparently lies in the reporting process, which relied on recipients of federal stimulus contracts to estimate the number of jobs created or saved by the contract. The government published 150,000 such reports Friday.

A preliminary review revealed dozens of recipients claiming to have created or saved at least one job with less than $2,000 in stimulus money, to a total of at least 3,300 jobs.

A Kentucky shoe-store owner claimed to have created or saved nine jobs with an $889.60 contract to supply work boots to the Army Corps of Engineers. The owner said he supplied nine pairs of boots and that the mistake arose from confusion over the government form. …

“Holy moly, that’s not right,” Teresa Cox, executive director of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency in Salem, Ore., said of her organization’s report. It indicated that 205 jobs were created or saved with the agency’s $397,761 federal grant. The money, she said, was used for pay raises.

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