Washington: New data provides the first confirmation that President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan has so far saved or created more than one million jobs, administration officials said on Friday.
The figures show 650,000 jobs were directly saved or created up until September 30. Since the survey data only accounts for half the spending during that time, officials say the true figure of jobs created is over a million.
But Republicans accused Obama's team of fudging the facts and concocting a "fantasy world" to disguise the failure of the stimulus plan, passed in the first months of Obama's presidency.
The statistics were provided by tens of thousands of state and local governments, private firms and universities and detail how a portion of the 787 billion rescue package is being spent up until September 30.
The report comes a day after government data showed that the US economy had emerged from the deepest recession in decades, but with the White House battling crushing unemployment of just under 10 percent.
"(The figures) confirm government and private forecaster?s estimates that overall Recovery Act spending has created and saved at least one million jobs," an Obama administration official said on condition of anonymity.
The statistics apply to jobs directly created with Recovery Act funds, but officials say that more employment is also created indirectly when people with new positions spend their wages -- for instance in the retail sector.
The official release of the figures ignited a new row between the White House and its political foes, with Republicans accusing the Obama team of making up job figures "out of thin air."
"What is quite certain is that since the stimulus passed in February, over 2.6 million American jobs have been lost," the Republican Party said in a research document on Friday.
"The Obama Administration is either living in a fantasy world or using these reports to have a public argument with the facts.
In either case, it is clear that President Obama's stimulus has failed our economy and the American people."
First Published: Friday, October 30, 2009, 18:13