The return of lies, damned lies and stimulus jobs

The hits keep on coming. First we have a report from Washington state:

New numbers released by the federal government Friday estimate that the federal stimulus package has helped create or save 34,500 total jobs in Washington, making it the state with the third-largest reported number of stimulus jobs behind California and New York.

But there’s a caveat on those job creation numbers: 24,000 of them probably weren’t in danger in the first place.

State officials used a chunk of stimulus money to cover paychecks for 24,000 teachers who were already contracted to finish out the school year. That money came from a pot of stimulus funds given to the state to help offset budget cuts.

Then there's newly uncovered job counting shenanigans in Colorado. The Denver Post reports that of the 8,094 jobs the administration claims were created in the centennial state the number is inflated by “at least 1,000.” But more troubling, the Denver Post uncovered a plethora of problems that suggest the job overcounting is a matter of practice rather than isolated mistakes:

• Englewood-based TeleTech Government Solutions listed the equivalent of 635 full-time jobs credited to Colorado created by recovery funds used to set up call centers on the conversion to digital television. Only the equivalent of 34 of them were filled in Colorado. The rest are scattered across the country.

• The city of Westminster reported that its $150,438 contract for road work on Lowell Boulevard would create 117 jobs. That would equate to $1,286 per job. The city said the estimate is based on anyone who will work on the project, even if it was for only one day. No federal officials told the city to convert to the number of full-time-equivalent slots, an official said.

• Two child-development centers — one in Colorado Springs and the other in Saguache County — reported they had created or saved more than 292 jobs combined. However, the money — totaling about $650,000, or $2,226 a job — was used to give employees cost- of-living raises. Only three new jobs were created.

• Some subsidized-housing projects listed their entire staffs as jobs retained as a result of stimulus spending even if the money was the same rental assistance for their tenants they had received in previous years. Combined, they could total as many as 200 jobs.

Also, see David Freddoso's post this morning about questionable stimulus job numbers in Massachusetts. That brings the total to 13 states where stimulus job numbers appear to have been fudged — Washington, Colorado, Massachussetts, Georgia, Illinois, Wisconsin, California, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia and Texas.

Beltway ConfidentialUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Police Chief Bill Scott on Wednesday said a rebranding and reoganization of the former Gang Task Force amounts to “more than just the name change.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD Gang Task Force is ‘no more’: Chief re-envisions investigative unit

New Community Violence Reduction Team adds officers with community-policing experience

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA to resume ‘poverty tows’ amid calls to make temporary ban permanent

Fines and fees hurt low-income, homeless residents, but officials say they are a necessary tool

Income from Shared Spaces will provide financial resources to the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency, according to its director, Jeffrey Tumlin. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA director says Shared Spaces serves transit agency’s financial interest

$10.6 million price tag for program raises concerns among transit agency’s board members

Most Read