The economic stimulus package has already created or saved at least 650,000 jobs, the White House said today, even though just $150 billion of the $787 billion has been spent. And the number of jobs is closer to 1 million if it includes positions added indirectly, according to the administration. The tricky numbers come from tens of thousands of reports by funding recipients, including state and local governments and private firms.
“We’re solidly on track to create or save 3.5 million jobs by the time this program winds down,” an administration economist tells CNN. “There's a lot more ammunition in that Recovery Act.” Maryland’s stats make the claim seem plausible: The state received over $2 billion, has spent just 11% of that, and has gained about 14,000 jobs directly or indirectly. In Massachusetts, that number is 23,500. “Our work is paying off,” says Gov. Deval Patrick.