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Has Education Unfairly Benefited from the Economic Stimulus?

Recent statistics released by the current administration show that more than half of the jobs created or saved were in the field of education. State departments of education report that stimulus money averted the need for layoffs to balance the education budget. Remember when the stimulus package was being introduced? The focus was on how jobs in the construction industry would be saved.

The reality is that a little over twelve percent of the jobs saved or created were in construction, as compared to fifty-one percent for education jobs. The administration asserts that the stimulus program is delivering as promised. 3.5 million jobs will have been saved or created by the end of 2010. Some criticize how the stimulus money is being distributed. Republican leaders are asking when the promised private sector jobs will be delivered.

Economists note that the rate of unemployment in a state does not correspond to the number of jobs created or saved by each state’s stimulus money. Michigan, with the highest unemployment in the nation (15.3%) reports creating or saving about twenty-two thousand jobs. But Rhode Island’s 13 percent unemployment rate, third highest in the country, saved or created only two thousand jobs with stimulus money. California created or saved more jobs – more than 100,000 – with stimulus money than any other state.


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