Did the Stimulus Create Jobs?


Yes, the stimulus legislation increased employment, despite false Republican claims to the contrary.
September 27, 2010


The economic stimulus package is a favorite target of Republican candidates and groups, but more than a few ads falsely claim it did not create or save any jobs. Some recent examples:
  • Republican House candidate Dan Debicella charges that Democratic Rep. Jim Himes failed Connecticut’s families because he voted for a "stimulus package that has done nothing to reduce unemployment."
  • Rick Scott, the Republican candidate for governor in Florida, says Democrat Alex Sink "backed the failed stimulus bill, which created debt, not jobs."
  • Similarly, Sink — who never served in Congress and didn’t vote on the bill — is attacked by the Republican Party of Florida in an ad that says the stimulus "gave us big debt and no jobs."
  • Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that does not have to disclose its donors, aired an ad against Democratic congressional candidate Denny Heck of Washington that claimed the "$787 billion stimulus … failed to save and create jobs." The group has launched similar ads against other Democrats.
  • Kristi Noem, a Republican House candidate from South Dakota, calls the measure a "jobless stimulus."
The truth is that the stimulus increased employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million people, compared with what employment would have been otherwise. That’s according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more commonly known as the stimulus bill, has been featured in more than 130 TV ads this year, according to a database maintained by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group. In many of those ads, Republicans claim the bill has "failed" (a matter of opinion) or state (correctly) that unemployment has gone up since President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on Feb. 17, 2009. The national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in February 2009, and it now stands at 9.6 percent, having peaked at 10.1 percent in October 2009.
But it’s just false to say that the stimulus created "no jobs" or "failed to save and create jobs" or "has done nothing to reduce unemployment" – or similar claims that the stimulus did not produce any jobs.
As we have written before, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report in August that said the stimulus bill has "[l]owered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points" and "[i]ncreased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million."
Simply put, more people would be unemployed if not for the stimulus bill. The exact number of jobs created and saved is difficult to estimate, but nonpartisan economists say there’s no doubt that the number is positive.

Debicella for Congress TV Ad: "Rubber Stamp," aired Sept. 9-10
Rick Scott for Governor TV Ad: "Wrong Solutions," aired Sept. 14
Republican Party of Florida TV Ad: "Whatever it Takes," aired Sept. 4-7
Americans for Prosperity TV Ad: "The Truth About Heck," aired Aug. 18-22
Noem for Congress TV Ad: "Serve," aired Sept. 14-15
– by Joshua Goldman


H.R. 1. "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009." GovTrack.us. accessed 27 Sep 2010.
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey, Unemployment Rate. Bureau of Labor Statistics. accessed 27 Sep 2010.
Posted by FactCheck.org on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm

1 comment:

ccdemuth said...

Unemployment is up. Growth is down. Deficits are at a record. What has gone wrong in Washington?

Congressman Jim Himes voted for the stimulus bill, but he does not think that it went far enough. He admits that he would vote for pork barrel stimulus spending again if we give him the chance.

Congressman Jim Himes voted for the healthcare takeover, but he wants to go further. His only regret is that he had to act incrementally while the voters are watching.

November 2nd, 2010 will be a referendum on the Himes record. If you think that there is a better way, you can do something about it here: http://www.40seats.com/ct4