Florida stimulus chief says it’s too soon to tell if state will get the 207,000 jobs Obama toutedby George Bennett | October 27th, 2009
When President Obama last visited Florida in February, the White House said passage of a $787 billion stimulus bill would create 207,000 jobs in the state over the next two years.
Today, with Obama back in the state to tout “smart grid” energy grants and their job-creating benefits, Florida’s workforce is about 169,600 employees smaller than it was in February.
Florida’s workforce was 7,503,400 jobs in February and slipped to 7,333,800 in September, according to the state’s Agency for Workforce Innovation.
The employment picture would be worse without the federal money, said Don Winstead, Florida’s top stimulus adviser. And Winstead says it’s too soon to judge the effectiveness of the stimulus.
Florida officials say the first $4 billion in stimulus spending in the state has provided work for 33,546 people and, when economic multipliers are factored in, indirectly accounted for about 64,000 jobs.
Winstead says that while overall employment in the state is down, the employment picture would be about 64,000 jobs worse without the stimulus.
“The job loss would have been that much worse” without the federal money, Winstead said.
Winstead said the White House’s original 207,000-jobs estimate for Florida appeared to be a “reasonable estimate” when state economists looked at the figures earlier this year. Winstead said the effectiveness of the stimulus spending shouldn’t be judged until 2011, when most of the spending is expected to end.
“We won’t know until we get to the end of the period,” Winstead said.
Tags: Don Winstead