NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Jobs Created by Stimulus Cost Hundreds of Thousands Each

March 2, 2011

The jobs created and saved by the 2009 economic stimulus cost at a minimum an average of $228,055 each, according to data released yesterday by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

  • The CBO said it now estimates the stimulus law cost a total of $821 billion, up from CBO's original estimate that the stimulus would cost $787 billion.
  • In the same report, the CBO estimated that in the fourth quarter of 2010 there were somewhere between 1.3 million and 3.5 million people who were then employed who would not have been had the stimulus not been enacted.

This estimate seeks to state the net impact the stimulus had on the number of people employed in the United States as a result of the stimulus, taking into account not only the new jobs believed to be created and the existing jobs believed to be killed by the stimulus, but also the existing jobs that were saved that otherwise would have been lost.

  • The CBO's estimate that there were 1.3 million to 3.5 million people employed in the fourth quarter of 2010 who would not have been were it not for the stimulus represents a decline from the 1.4 million to 3.6 million people CBO estimated were employed as a result the stimulus during the third quarter of 2010.
  • In fact, CBO now estimates that theapogee of the stimulus's net job-creating-and-saving power occurred in the third quarter of 2010 when it believes somewhere between 1.4 million and 3.6 million people had jobs they would not have had except for the stimulus.

Thus, the $821 billion cost of the stimulus divided by the maximum of 3.6 million jobs the CBO believes the stimulus may have saved or created equals an average of $228,055 per job.  At the lower end of the CBO's top job-creating-and-saving estimate for the stimulus -- 1.4 million jobs -- the jobs would cost an average of $586,428 a piece, says CNS News.

Source: Matt Cover, "CBO: Jobs Created and Saved By Stimulus Cost At Minimum an Average of $228,055 Each," CNS News, February 24, 2011.

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