The first batch of reports on jobs created by stimulus spending is in. The data show direct federal contracts saved or created 30,383 jobs.
Who got the jobs? Let’s just say your chances of finding a job were better if you lived in Colorado than in Michigan, which has the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
The New York Times reports:
One thing was clear: while the federal contracts have created or saved 30,383 jobs, they were not directed to states with the highest jobless rates. Businesses in Michigan, whose 15.2 percent unemployment rate in August was the highest in the nation, reported creating or saving about 400 jobs. Businesses in Nevada, which had the next highest unemployment rate, reported 159. And businesses in Rhode Island, which had the third-highest unemployment rate, 12.8 percent, reported the fewest jobs: just six.
More jobs, by contrast, were reported in some of the states with lowest unemployment rates. Businesses in North Dakota, whose 4.3 percent unemployment rate was the lowest in the nation, reported creating or saving 219. The most jobs were reported in Colorado, whose 7.3 percent unemployment rate was below the national average that reached 9.8 percent last month, and where businesses reported creating or saving 4,695 jobs.
Ironically, your odds of employment increased if you lived in a district represented by a Republican:
The data yielded some interesting political tidbits. While no Republicans in the House voted for the stimulus bill, the five Congressional districts that appeared to be getting the most money in federal stimulus contracts so far are all represented by Republicans. And though Democrats control the House, it appeared that more money was being spent for work in districts held by Republicans.
Jared Bernstein, chief economist for Vice President Joe Biden, said federal stimulus spending tells only part of the story:
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.
For info on jobs created in your neighborhood, go to Recovery.gov.