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Stimulus Jobs Overstated on Government Website

October 30th, 2009 by flanews

Economic Stimulus money has helped save and create a total of 64,000 jobs. A recent investigation into federal stimulus statistics showed some of the job creation numbers were overstated. As Whitney Ray tells us, some of the inflated statistics come from stimulus spending Florida.

Niki Lavin is celebrating her third year as high school science teacher and her new duty as a dance instructor. But a year ago she feared a budget shortfall might claim her job. Then Congress passed the economic stimulus package sending Florida 13 billion dollars.

“It is nice to know that money is there to help us out,” said Lavin.

It’s hard to pinpoint whose job was saved using stimulus money, but we do know 20,000 teaching positions would have been cut without the funds.

In all 64,000 Florida jobs have been saved or created, but a recent investigation shows statics on a government website were overstated. The site gives the stimulus package credit for 30-thousand federal contract jobs. The number is five thousand too high.

And some of those fudged numbers are coming out of Florida. A Brevard County child care center claims it used stimulus dollars to save 129 jobs when in fact the money was simply used to give raises.

Florida’s Stimulus Czar Don Winstead says those are federal statistics and the state’s numbers don’t include the 129 positions.

“We will report that there, but of course our numbers are substantially more than that and what we report with the state agencies will not include those,” said Winstead.

One area where results have been immediate is in unemployment. Florida has doled out 1.8 billion stimulus dollars to keep benefits flowing to thousands of jobless Floridians

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