February 1st, 2010
04:26 PM ET

Fact Check: How many jobs did the stimulus create?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/01/09/white.house.emails/art.white.house.cnn.jpg caption="CNN Fact Check has found White House figures on jobs created under the stimulus 'unreliable'."]

Diana Holden

On Saturday, the administration reported that stimulus money funded nearly 600,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2009. The figure is based on responses from about 160,000 recipients of stimulus funds. Previously, the White House reported 640,329 jobs were created or saved through September 30.

This number was criticized because some recipients might have reported "saving" people who would not have been laid off. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, called the number "misleading and unreliable."

Fact Check: Are White House-reported figures on the number of jobs created under the stimulus plan unreliable? 

The CNN Fact Check Desk found that:

- Last November, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that between 600,000 and 1.6 million jobs were created through the third quarter, but said "it is impossible to determine how many of the reported jobs would have existed in the absence of the stimulus package."

- Also in November, the Government Accountability Office found "significant reporting and quality issues that need to be addressed."

- Last December, The White House Office of Management and Budget changed its guidance for stimulus recipients. Instead of asking recipients to report the amount of jobs created or saved with stimulus money, the Office asked recipients to report the amount of jobs "funded" by stimulus money.

Bottom Line: The White House-reported figures on jobs that were created under the stimulus plan are not specific enough to be deemed reliable.

Filed under: Keeping Them Honest • Stimulus
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