Recovery Board Releases Rest of Recipient Data
by Sam Rosen-Amy, 10/30/2009
Finally, at long last, the Recovery Board has now released the totality of recipient reports to the public through Recovery.gov. Today's release covers grant and loan data, as the Board published the contract data on Oct. 15. This new batch of data, though, is magnitudes larger. There are 117,000 reports in this batch, as opposed to 13,000 contracts, with grants and loans representing about $140 billion in available spending versus $17 billion in contracts signed so far. The grants and loans are also responsible for 609,422 jobs, while the contracts only created or saved 30,908 jobs, bringing the total number of jobs directly saved or created by the Recovery Act to 640,329.
However, the data is still plagued by questions regarding its accuracy, most of which is centered on the jobs data. The White House is still beating back yesterday's Associated Press article which charged the Obama Administration of drastically over-counting Recovery Act jobs, although their efforts were not helped today when Vice President Biden said, in announcing the new jobs numbers, that "We know this [data is] not 100% accurate." Well, at least we can agree on that. We'll have a more thorough analysis of the new data up once we have some time to take a look at it.
Also, it's important to remember, again, what is not being reporting today, or ever. Entitlement spending and direct payments to individuals (i.e. Social Security payment and tax cuts) do not have to be reported on Recovery.gov, and is not reflected in today's release. So while today's recipient reports say that 640,000 jobs were created or saved, the actual number of jobs affected by the Recovery Act is probably much higher than that.
Finally, along with the data update, the Board added some new functionality to Recovery.gov. We'll be putting up another post about that in a minute.
Image by Flickr user Screenshots3 used under a Creative Commons license.