A federal spending surge of more than $20 billion for roads and bridges in President Barack Obama's first stimulus has had no effect on local unemployment rates, raising questions about his argument for billions more to address an "urgent need to accelerate job growth."
An Associated Press analysis of stimulus spending found that it didn't matter if a lot of money was spent on highways or none at all: Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless. And the stimulus spending only barely helped the beleaguered construction industry, the analysis showed. . . .
. . . AP's analysis, which was reviewed by independent economists at five universities, showed the strategy of pumping transportation money into counties hasn't affected local unemployment rates so far.
"There seems to me to be very little evidence that it's making a difference," said Todd Steen, an economics professor at Hope College in Michigan. . . ."
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Todd Steen, a colleague of mine from Hope College, recently did an analysis for the Associated Press that was used in a study they reported on yesterday. The article got picked up by a number of outlets, including ABC News, the Washington Post and the Seattle Post Intelligencer:
Posted at 1:50 PM