The CBO crunches the numbers on stimulus jobs

Wednesday - 12/2/2009, 11:41am EST

Jodi Schneider

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

The Congressional Budget Office now estimates that "additional 600,000 to 1.6 million people were employed in the United States" as a result of stimulus spending.

"It's an interesting number," economics and political commentator Jodi Schneider told FederalNewsRadio, "given that the earlier number from the White House, the figure they touted, was 640,000 jobs tied to stimulus spending and that was based on reports from grant recipients."

Initially, said Schneider, when this number came out from the CBO, "it surprised some people, because it was pretty high."

Now, the positioning kicks in. "Numbers are numbers and you can cast these any way you want. Of course the White House is using this to say 'Lookit, this is even better than we projected,' and critics, including Republicans, are saying 'Yeah, we'll see. It depends on how you count things.'"

Schneider noted the numbers are just in time for Thursday's White House forum on jobs and economic growth.