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Nine months after the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, commonly referred to as the stimulus package) passed, efforts are being made to count the number of jobs it has created or retained. These figures are being reported by the federal government as evidence of the package’s success. Recent investigations by the Associated Press, CNN, and Denver Post, however, have found that these some of these figures may be inflated due to misreporting.

The success or failure of the stimulus package will be determined in large part by the number of jobs it helps to create or retain. The federal government recently declared that the stimulus package had already helped to create or retain 640,000 jobs, well on its way to the 3.5 million job goal by the end of 2010. This job count comes primarily from organizations who received stimulus money and reporting job creation and retention is a required part of the funding process. However, the reporting process is complex, with long, detailed forms to complete creating room for error and ultimately skewing the results.

Attempting to Count Stimulus Jobs - c2er