Clipped From The Daily Herald
Stimulus seen producing 288 jobs in Illinois BY CAMILLE LE TALLEC Daily Hnnlil Com's/wnilenl WASHINGTON — Even if the government's numbers are to be believed, businesses with federal stimulus contracts have created just 288 jobs in Illinois so far, where the jobless jobless rate increased to 10.5 percent percent in September. Data released by tlie federal federal government show that while federal contracts have saved or created 30,383 jobs throughout the country, states with unemployment rates higher dian the national average, average, like Illinois, have not benefited benefited fiom them the most. An Associated Press review found that tlie number may be vastly overstated, but even if it's not, Illinois did not fare as well as many other states in job creation, creation, ranking 30th. That's too low for 6th Dist. U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, who said the government's report shows tlie stimulus plan just isn't working. "Democrats promised that the 6th District would receive 7,600 jobs from the stimulus, but according to their own numbers, the entire state of Illinois hasn't received anywhere anywhere near that many jobs," he said. "My constituents are struggling witli record unemployment, unemployment, and Washington is only contributing more to the problem." U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, a Highland Highland Park Republican who is ruiming for U.S. Senate, agreed. He said only one in five dollars in the stimulus package is assigned to infra- stojcture and that's too low. "Most of tlie stimulus will be wasted, because it will collapse collapse when the bonowed money wall mn out," the 10th Dist. congressman said. Democratic 14th Dist. U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, of Geneva, however, said the stimulus staved off a potentially more- serious crisis. "According to the Illinois Bureau of Labor, it appears that unemployment in tlie four largest counties in the 14th District peaked in June but since that time, because of the actions we took, more jobs were created - not lost," he said in an e-mail last week. "While we have a long way to go to bring tlie economy back where it must be, we acted, and because we did, tiiou- sands of families across the 14th Distiict have benefited." Colorado, whose unemployment unemployment rate was 7 percent in September, is ranked first on the federal list with 4,695 jobs created. But only five jobs have been created in Rhode Island, which faced an unemployment unemployment rate of 13 percent in September, one of the highest in the coimtiy. Stimulus contracts were awai'ded to businesses by federal federal agencies. The new obs figures come from a small slice of the $787 billion federal stimulus program: program: tlie $16 billion dedicated dedicated to federal contiacts, of which about $2,2 billion have been spent so far. But it's the first time the federal federal government has released actual job results of the stimulus stimulus program, and these figures figures provide tiie most complete complete pictiire of how efficient one component of die plan has been so far. Federal stimulus conti-acts allocated to Illinois businesses represent nearly $474 million, million, but only about $21.6 million million has been received so far, a poor proportion compared to states awarded with similar amoimts. Performances among agencies agencies vaiy widely, some with modest awards having created more jobs than others with more funds. For example, 58 jobs have been created in Illinois Illinois through contracts with the Depaitment of the Army, which has received about $1.4 million of a $19.4 million allotment, allotment, and the General Services Services Administi-ation created 55 Illinois jobs with $2.6 million million from a $23.6 million allotment. allotment. But the Federal Communications Communications Commission, which has received almost all of its $698,145 allotment for Illinois, said it created 45 jobs in the state. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has received $2.9 million of an $84.2 million allotment but created only 16 Illinois jobs. The Department of Defense created just eight jobs witii $3.6 million of its $21.3 million allotment. Tlie American Recovery and Reinvestinent Act of 2009, passed by Congress on Feb. 13, 2009 includes $288 billion of federal tax cuts and incentives, incentives, an expansion of unemployment unemployment benefits and other spending on social entitlement entitlement woith of $224 billion. Federal agencies are using the remaining $275 billion recov- eiy funds to award contracts, grants, and loans around die country. The stimulus Web site, recoveiy.gov, has a map for people to see how many con tiacts were awarded in their states, their Congressional distiicts, or in tiieir zip codes, and how many jobs tiie recipients recipients of those contracts are claiming.