While the nation was preoccupied with hot air, the White House released its first list of actual jobs created thus far from the federal stimulus. Tallying up to a paltry 30,383 jobs, they’ve got a long way to go to reach the 3.5 million they’d hoped to create by the end of the year.
To be fair, this list shows the impact of only one small part of the $787 billion stimulus package: According to the Times , these jobs were created by “$16 billion worth of stimulus contracts that were awarded directly by federal agencies, of which about $2.2 billion has been spent so far.”
Regardless, the Big Apple doesn’t fare too well: The Post reports that of the 30,383 jobs, only 54 have been created in the New York metropolitan area, with the Brookhaven National Laboratory being the biggest beneficiary (26 jobs) and a Brooklyn Post Office renovation the smallest (1/3 of a job)….
New York City took on a lot of collateral damage from the near collapse of the banking industry last fall, and double-digit job creation was not what we were hoping for. We’re already the number-one most unemployed city in New York. But as the Times points out, there isn’t much correlation between where the stimulus funds could best help underemployment and where it is going: “federal agencies could not steer their contracts to high-unemployment areas: the stimulus act gave the agencies money for existing federal programs and priorities.”
And, ironically, though not a single Republican in the House voted for the stimulus, the five congressional districts to cash in the most stimulus chips are all represented by Republicans.
These directly created jobs don’t account for jobs stimulated by construction activity, or even for sub-contractors. But thus far, one thing about the stimulus is clear: WPA 2.0 it’s not.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 16, 2009