Green Jobs Program Coming Up Short on Jobs

Loans producing a lot fewer jobs than advertised
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2011 8:48 AM CDT
Green Jobs Program Coming Up Short on Jobs
President Barack Obama, center, poses for a photo with construction workers building a new Solyndra, Inc., a solar panel manufacturing facility, in Fremont, Calif., May 26, 2010.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – President Obama’s “green jobs” loan program—which recently grabbed the spotlight thanks to Solyndra's collapse—isn’t producing anything close to the 65,000 jobs promised, at least not directly. The program has already lent out half of the $38.6 billion allotted to it, but based on Energy Department data, that’s only created 3,545 permanent jobs, the Washington Post reports. “There are good reasons to create green jobs,” one Princeton economics professor says, “but they have more to do with green than with jobs.”

The Energy Department says the program is on track, thanks mostly to the 33,000 jobs Ford says were saved by a $5.9 billion loan to upgrade its plants to produce energy-efficient vehicles. But some economists are skeptical, because Ford appears to be counting every worker at those plants. The department also notes that it’s created 7,391 temporary construction jobs, and “tens of thousands of indirect jobs … up and down the supply chain.” (Read more Department of Energy stories.)

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