Last week, on the three-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (i.e. the stimulus), the GOP went well out of its way to portray the plan as “an abject failure” that not only “failed to create the jobs that Americans were promised,” but also “made things worse.” But plenty of recent independent analyses have debunked that myth, including a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
According to CBO, between 300,000 and 2 million people who were employed in December owed their jobs to the stimulus. The Recovery Act’s impact on jobs peaked in 2010’s third quarter, when an estimated 3.6 million people were employed in jobs that were either saved or created by the Recovery Act. CBO also found that the stimulus:
— Raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 0.2 percent and 1.5 percent.
— Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.2 percentage points and 1.1 percentage points.
— Increased the number of people employed by between 0.3 million and 2.0 million.
— Increased the number of full-time-equivalent jobs by 0.4 million to 2.6 million. (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers.)
The CBO also projects that in the first quarter of 2012, compared to what might have happened without ARRA intervention, CBO estimates the ARRA will raise the GDP by between 0.1 percent and 0.8 percent and will increase the number of people employed by between 0.2 million and 1.1. million.