STIMULUS FUNDS BOOST NUMBER OF FEDERAL JOBS
September 25, 2009
The $787 billion economic recovery package also is stimulating growth in the federal government as agencies hire thousands of workers and spend millions of dollars to oversee and implement the package, according to government records and spokesmen.
- Fourteen of the top federal agencies responsible for spending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act say they've hired about 3,000 workers with stimulus money.
- That's helped fuel the continued growth of the federal government, which increased by more than 25,000 employees, or 1.3 percent, since December 2008, according to the latest quarterly report.
- During that time, the ranks of the nation's unemployed increased by nearly 4 million, Labor Department statistics show.
- Overall, there are about 2 million federal workers, the data show.
- Thirteen agencies that report stimulus-related administrative expenses separately on their weekly spending reports say they've spent $186.8 million so far on salaries and other overhead; those agencies have reported spending $46.1 billion in stimulus funds overall.
The new workers are tackling such tasks as managing stimulus-funded contracts, processing Social Security benefit claims and investigating possible cases of fraud and waste. They're overseeing about $288 billion in tax cuts and nearly $500 billion in federal spending, much of it in the form of transfers to state governments for education, health care and jobless benefits.
- The Social Security Administration, for example, has hired 2,115 workers, spokeswoman Kia Green said.
- The Energy Department has hired about 240 workers, including engineers, contract managers and accountants, spokeswoman Tiffany Edwards said in an e-mail.
Stimulus critics such as Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the top Republican on the House oversight committee, say the package has enlarged the federal bureaucracy without making a dent in the nation's unemployment rate, which was 9.7 percent in August. "The only thing we have seen stimulated by this package has been the size of the federal government," Issa said in an e-mailed statement.
Source: Matt Kelley, "Stimulus funds boost number of federal jobs," USA Today, September 24, 2009.
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