No, you didn't misread that headline. It's not 8,700 jobs. Not 870. The stimulus plan has created 87 new government jobs, according to government's own job listing site.
Let's take a step back:
This morning we were taking a look at the White House’s Recovery blog where we read about, and saw, Vice President Biden’s pledge to create or save 600,000 American jobs by the end of the summer. We were also interested to read that in the 100 days since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed, the administration contends that it has created or saved 150,000 jobs. It seems like an impressive number but something about the claim bugs us a little. It’s the term “create or save.”
We’d like to know just how many jobs were created and how many were saved. We think both outcomes are valuable, by the way, but we’d prefer it if the numbers were broken out.
So we decided to do some investigating. It’s hard to gauge at this point how many jobs the recovery act has created in the private sector (it's actually based on some complicated modeling which we'll soon take a closer look at), but it’s easier to look at real government job creation.
If you go to Recovery.gov (not to be confused with WhiteHouse.gov/recovery), you’ll find a link for recovery-related jobs, which will bring you to a recovery-specific job search page on USAjobs.gov, the government’s job board.
If you do a search within recovery jobs, across all states and within all fields, you’ll find that the government lists only 87 open positions that are the direct result of the recovery bill.
We should note that according to the USAjobs.gov homepage, the total number of open government jobs, not just those created by the recovery bill, is close to 50,000 opportunities worldwide. And given the nature of the bill, we expect most new job openings to be in the private sector.
But 87 government stimulus jobs?
That seems awfully low to us.
We’ve reached out to the White House for some clarification and will update you as soon as it comes in.