Monday, April 26, 2010

Economists: The stimulus didn't help

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporterApril 26, 2010: 3:56 AM ET

NEW YORK ( -- The recovery is picking up steam as employers boost payrolls, but economists think the government's stimulus package and jobs bill had little to do with the rebound, according to a survey released Monday.

In latest quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics, the index that measures employment showed job growth for the first time in two years -- but a majority of respondents felt the fiscal stimulus had no impact.

NABE conducted the study by polling 68 of its members who work in economic roles at private-sector firms. About 73% of those surveyed said employment at their company is neither higher nor lower as a result of the $787 billion Recovery Act, which the White House's Council of Economic Advisers says is on track to create or save 3.5 million jobs by the end of the year.

That sentiment is shared for the recently passed $17.7 billion jobs bill that calls for tax breaks for businesses that hire and additional infrastructure spending. More than two-thirds of those polled believe the measure won't affect payrolls, while 30% expect it to boost hiring "moderately."

But the economists see conditions improving. More than half of respondents -- 57% -- say industrial demand is rising, while just 6% see it declining. A growing number also said their firms are increasing spending and profit margins are widening.

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed forecast that gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, will grow more than 3% in 2010, and 70% of NABE's respondents expect it to grow more than 2%.

Still, the survey suggested that tight lending conditions remain a concern. Almost half of those polled said the credit crunch hurts their business.


AMC/NYC said...

"Finally, economists say the federal economic stimulus — the $787 billion funding that ends Sept. 30 — has had little, if any effect on employment."

This HAS to be a politically motivated statement. Or NABE has simply conducted zero real research for this study - in which case, its credibility, that of its reports and statements like the above are at issue here.

Only thing I've read is that NABE relied on asking 68 of its members if they felt the stimulus had had any effect on employment in the companies they work for...and 73%, about 50 of them, said it hadn't??!! Could that last statement possibly be based on 50 unidentified companies, which may or may not have been targetted within the ARRA stimulus strategy because they didn't qualify for financial need - - either as states, businesses or citizens - - or review all the non-job-but-economy-supporting-fiscal strategies...and this is supposed to be a serious economic study?

Detailed records on how ARRA was spent & its yield so far abound on the web. You can visit the govt comprehensive ARRA site with state-by-state records,, or you can visit state sites - on a random basis I checked out AL, AZ, CA, OR, Mass & some industry specific - see below.

AL - 10,216.09 jobs. AZ - 21,400 as of 8/2009. CA was projecting 250,000. MA - 0ver 50,000. MI - over 54,000. Oregon - 6,374 as of 11/09.

Are you listening Senator Brown? Remember you said ARRA "hadn't created a single job"? Well, over 50,000 in MA alone, as of 3/17/10. But unemployed applicants lack the education required!! 40% of the jobs need a high school diploma or higher, and that creates a problem in MA apparently. What have you done for public education in MA, Senator?....I see you have an "anti-public education" but "pro-big business" voting record? Don't you realize that a well-educated public = a productive economy? Did you even know that ARRA gave MA $5.5 billion tax cuts and many layers of help to survive the economic distress of the recession.

ARRA also invested in developing new industry/job sectors (since Bush shipped 5,000,000 US jobs overseas and closed 2,500,000 manufacturing jobs) - - 30,000 clean energy jobs, 325,000 education jobs (incl job training), eventually 1,000,000 - 2,000,000 IT/Broadband jobs etc. etc.

When jobs have been eliminated by the millions, they're not recreated in a snap of a finger, especially when new industries & skills must be created from scratch and in a lousy economy and staggering inherited debts.

If anyone cares to read any of below, they'll find out just how meaningful ARRA has been, both in short-term & for long haul. For jobs, but also for restarting economy, job skill training, repairing infrastructure, reforming health care, reforming education, increasing college grants, tax cuts, unemployment benefits and various state aid programs + +.

B2 said...

Is this supposed to be a joke? Just wait and eventually there will be jobs from the stimulus?! uh huh...what flavor of Kool-Aid is that?! Gov't. jobs have been created and from what I've read so far have cost more than they are worth. Big surprise! Gov't. jobs with $100K+ salaries!

Ever stop to consider basic economics?! Maybe since we have raised taxes on the JOB PROVIDERS, (to pay for Stimulus bill, bailouts, and Obamacare) it's not a surprise that jobs are being lost or not coming back!!! If a company has less money to expand or create or even keep jobs, why are you surprised at the complete ineffectiveness of the Stimulus.

Any old Joe should have been able to see that one coming. Any old Joe that is, who isn't blinded by ideals and the "at all costs" march toward Marx's Socialist Utopia!!!

B2 said...

Want to get rich? Work for feds:

For decades, public sector unions have peddled the fantasy that government employees were paid less than their counterparts in the private sector. In fact, the pay disparity is the other way around. Government workers, especially at the federal level, make salaries that are scandalously higher than those paid to private sector workers. And let's not forget private sector workers not only have to be sufficiently productive to earn their paychecks, they also must pay the taxes that support the more generous jobs in the public sector.

Data compiled by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis reveals the extent of the pay gap between federal and private workers. As of 2008, the average federal salary was $119,982, compared with $59,909 for the average private sector employee. In other words, the average federal bureaucrat makes twice as much as the average working taxpayer. Add the value of benefits like health care and pensions, and the gap grows even bigger. The average federal employee's benefits add $40,785 to his annual total compensation, whereas the average working taxpayer's benefits increase his total compensation by only $9,881. In other words, federal workers are paid on average salaries that are twice as generous as those in the private sector, and they receive benefits that are four times greater.

The situation is the same when state and local government compensation data is compared with that of the private sector. As the Cato Institute's Chris Edwards notes in the current issue of the Cato Journal, "The public sector pay advantage is most pronounced in benefits. Bureau of Economic Analysis data show that average compensation in the private sector was $59,909 in 2008, including $50,028 in wages and $9,881 in benefits. Average compensation in the public sector was $67,812, including $52,051 in wages and $15,761 in benefits." Those figures likely underestimate the true gap on the benefits side because the typical government employee gets a guaranteed defined benefit pension under very generous terms, while the private sector norm is a 401(K) defined contribution plan that is subject to the ups and downs of the economy.

With the federal deficit and national debt heading into the stratosphere, taxpayers can no longer afford to support such lucrative government compensation. Public sector pay and benefits at all levels should be reduced to make it comparable to the wages and benefits earned by the average working taxpayer. The first politician to propose a five-year plan for this purpose is likely to be cheered mightily by taxpayers.!

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

B2 said...

Check your facts:

White House Caught Altering Stimulus Baseline Projection by 7 Million Jobs:

B2 said...

Report: Democratic Stimulus Haul is Almost Double Republicans...

Stimulus funds going to slashed programs?

Florida schools giving away $350,000 worth of IPods -- using Stimulus Money...

PAPER: 14 phantom Zip Codes receiving fed 'stimulus' money...

Nine Months After Stimulus 49 of 50 States Have Lost Jobs...

Hillary's pollster Mark Penn got $6 million from stimulus

B2 said...

STIMULUS MATH: $246,436 cost per job so far...

Cost-benefit analysis of jobs stimulus

Dec 7, 2009 12:23 EST

Hopefully any new plan will have a better ROI than the current stimulus package. Economic analyst Ed Yardeni runs the numbers:

The Obama Administration is touting that their stimulus program has saved or created 640,329 jobs since it was enacted back in February through the end of October. This number is updated and posted on the Administration’s web site. That amounts to $246,436 per job based on the $157.8bn that has been awarded so far! Total compensation earned by the average payroll employee during October, on an annualized basis, was $59,867. If the government had simply used the funds awarded so far to pay for a year’s worth of labor, that would have paid for 2.6mn jobs!

James Pethokoukis is the money and politics columnist/blogger for Reuters Breakingviews. Previously, he was the economics columnist for U.S. News & World Report where he wrote the monthly Capital Commerce magazine column. Pethokoukis was also the managing editor of the magazine’s Money & Business section. He has written for many publications including the New York Times, the American, USA Today, Investor’s Business Daily, and TCS Daily. Pethokoukis is also an official CNBC contributor and appears frequently on that network’s Kudlow & Company, Power Lunch, and The Call shows. In addition, he has appeared numerous times on MSNBC, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, CNN, and Nightly Business Report on PBS. A 1989 graduate of Northwestern University where he double majored in Soviet politics and American history and a 1991 graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Pethokoukis is a 2002 Jeopardy! champion.james.pethokoukis@thomsonreuter

B2 said...

BOSTON GLOBE: Stimulus job boost in state exaggerated, review finds...

PAPER: Many California jobs 'saved' by stimulus funds weren't in jeopardy... ^

After flurry of stimulus spending, questionable projects pile up... ^

Stimulus jobs overstated by thousands... ^

B2 said...

Since Stimulus Passed, Government Has Grown By 25,000 Employees...

Stimulus funds boost number of federal jobs
Posted 9/23/2009 8:52 PM | Comment | Recommend E-mail | Save | Print | Reprints & Permissions |

Enlarge By Harry Hamburg, AP

Stimulus critics such as Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the top Republican on the House oversight committee, say the package has enlarged the federal bureaucracy without making a dent in the nation's unemployment rate.

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By Matt Kelley, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The $787 billion economic recovery package also is stimulating growth in the federal government as agencies hire thousands of workers and spend millions of dollars to oversee and implement the package, according to government records and spokesmen.
Fourteen of the top federal agencies responsible for spending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act say they've hired about 3,000 workers with stimulus money. That's helped fuel the continued growth of the federal government, which increased by more than 25,000 employees, or 1.3%, since December 2008, according to the latest quarterly report. During that time, the ranks of the nation's unemployed increased by nearly 4 million, Labor Department statistics show.

Overall, there are about 2 million federal workers, the data show.

Thirteen agencies that report stimulus-related administrative expenses separately on their weekly spending reports say they've spent $186.8 million so far on salaries and other overhead. Those agencies have reported spending $46.1 billion in stimulus funds overall.

The new workers are tackling such tasks as managing stimulus-funded contracts, processing Social Security benefit claims and investigating possible cases of fraud and waste. They're overseeing about $288 billion in tax cuts and nearly $500 billion in federal spending, much of it in the form of transfers to state governments for education, health care and jobless benefits.

The Social Security Administration, for example, has hired 2,115 workers, spokeswoman Kia Green said. The Energy Department has hired about 240 workers, including engineers, contract managers and accountants, spokeswoman Tiffany Edwards said in an e-mail.

Stimulus critics such as Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the top Republican on the House oversight committee, say the package has enlarged the federal bureaucracy without making a dent in the nation's unemployment rate, which was 9.7% in August. "The only thing we have seen stimulated by this package has been the size of the federal government," Issa said in an e-mailed statement.

The growth is small and temporary, says John Berry, head of the federal government's Office of Personnel Management.

"The stimulus money hasn't really gone to federal employees; it's gone out into the economy," Berry says. "There's no permanent increase in the size of the federal government from the stimulus money."

Adding extra responsibilities with relatively few new employees threaten to overtax the federal workforce and undercut the Obama administration's goal of preventing improper spending, says Donald Kettl, dean of the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy.

"There's just a limit to how far you can push people and not open the process up to charges of waste, fraud and abuse," Kettl says.

Berry says his office has helped federal agencies streamline the hiring process by granting waivers of some employment rules, allowing agencies to hire without having his office approve the applicant and allowing retirees to temporarily return to their former jobs while continuing to draw retirement benefits.

"We have tried to do everything we can," Berry says.