Fur Flies Before Data Release

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The White House, The Associated Press, the Economic Policy Institute, and the Republican National Committee are going toe-to-toe about the Recovery Act’s impact ahead of the big ARRA jobs numbers which are set to be released this afternoon on www.recovery.gov. The White House has already indicated that it expects the numbers to show that the stimulus created or saved 650,000 jobs. Moreover, the 3.5 percent GDP figure released yesterday suggests that federal initiatives have had a profound effect, but perhaps did not go far enough.

We here at Good Jobs First, ducking the food fight, remind everyone of our observation last week that the jobs numbers are being under-reported. Despite critics’ claims, let’s remember: the numbers released today are from actual recipients of stimulus grants and contracts, not the White House. As of yesterday, the data are “locked” and cannot be changed until the next reporting period. Initial impressions indicate that recipients may have done a poor job reporting job creation and retention, in part at least because recipients lacked clear guidance from the Office of Management and Budget.

When the data do come out, we will offer our own independent analysis.

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