CBO Says Stimulus Added Up to 2.1 Million Jobs in Fourth Quarter of 2009

ABC News' Matthew Jaffe reports:

The Obama administration's $787 billion stimulus bill created up to 2.1 million jobs during the final three months of last year, according to a new report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

During the fourth quarter of 2009, the stimulus added "between 1.0 million and 2.1 million to the number of workers employed in the United States," the CBO said .

The stimulus also boosted the country's economic growth by 1.5 to 3.5 percent during the time period and lowered the nation's unemployment rate by between 0.5 and 1.1 percentage points.

In the report, the CBO noted that economic growth in 2009 was worse than they had predicted at the time that the stimulus was enacted, but that was due to a weaker economy than originally expected, rather than any failings of the stimulus.

"Economic output and employment in 2009 were lower than CBO had projected at the time of enactment," the CBO stated. "But in CBO's judgment, that outcome reflects greater-than-projected weakness in the underlying economy rather than lower-than-expected effects" of the stimulus package.

The CBO also said that in the fourth quarter the stimulus package increased the number of full-time jobs by between 1.4 and 3 million compared to the number of jobs that would have existed without the package.

The effects of the stimulus bill are expected to increase as the year goes on, before falling off in 2011 and fading away by the end of 2012, the CBO noted. The non-partisan research office uses economic models to analyze the stimulus and estimate the program's impact.

-- Matthew Jaffe

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