Stimulus saved an estimated 2.2 million jobs, report finds

The White House Council of Economic Advisers have released their latest quarterly report on the stimulus and estimated that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has increased total employment by between 2.2 and 2.8 million jobs — with tax cuts and income support saving or creating approximately half of those jobs.

The CEA estimates the number of jobs saved through a GDP model, but the report also provides direct statistics on how the Recovery Act helped families and workers. The report notes that 22 million people, 14 percent of the labor force, have directly benefited from unemployment benefits provided in the Recovery Act, for instance; 50 million retirees and others received $250 one-off assistance payments; and millions more benefited from a temporary boost to the earned income tax credit.

Holding the size of the labor force steady, without those 2.2. million jobs, the current unemployment rate would stand at 11.8 percent. Of course, higher unemployment would discourage workers from looking for jobs, etc., and it is impossible to project what the unemployment rate would have been if the government had not passed the Recovery Act. Regardless, the size of its benefit remains considerable.

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Annie Lowrey

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