The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) created or saved between 2.5 and 3.6 million jobs as of the second quarter of 2010, according to a recent report by the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). The report estimated that 63,000 of those jobs were in Wisconsin.
These jobs come at a time of high need for the state. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate, which stood at a seasonally adjusted rate of 7.9% in June, would almost certainly have been higher without Recovery dollars. How much higher is hard to know, but if the number of unemployed workers in the state rose by that figure of 63,000, our unemployment rate would jump to 10.0%. The state hasn’t experienced unemployment that high since the 1980s.
Nationally, the sum of outlays and tax cuts related to the Recovery Act was $480 billion as of the end of the second quarter of 2010, with an additional $147 billion obligated but not yet outlayed. As of the end of June, more than 60% of the funding appropriated by ARRA has been spent. The CEA estimates that the stimulus added between 2.7 and 3.2% to real GDP growth in the second quarter of 2010, relative to what it would have been without the stimulus.
Job reports by recipients of ARRA grants, contracts and loans are posted on http://www.recovery.gov/ for the quarter ending June 30th. That website and the reports account for just a small portion of total ARRA spending. It does not include individual and business tax credits or other direct assistance, such as the increases in Food Share benefits and unemployment insurance. The CEA report, on the other hand, bases its estimates on the full range of ARRA expenditures.