President Obama's stimulus plan added "between 1.0 million and 2.1 million to the number of workers employed in the United States" in the final quarter of 2009, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported today. The group pinned their underestimation of how bad economic growth would be last year on the weak economy itself, rather than on failings of the stimulus, according to ABC News. Other positive news for Obama, as he defends the current jobs bill: The stimulus was responsible for 1.5 to 3.5 percent of the country's economic growth during the final quarter of last year, and was responsible for keeping the unemployment rate 0.5 to 1.1 percentage points lower than it would have been otherwise. (The latter, in context, is really more mixed news for everyone else: The economy kept relentlessly shedding jobs even so.) The CBO anticipates that positive benefits from the stimulus will only increase from here for the rest of the year, falling off in 2011.
CBO Says Stimulus Added Up to 2.1 Million Jobs in Fourth Quarter of 2009 [Political Punch/ABC News]