The White House Blog: Reality Check: AP Story Misleads on Recovery Act Job ReportingHere's the actual AP report in question: AP IMPACT: Stimulus jobs overstated by thousands
Posted by Ed DeSeve on October 29, 2009 at 12:22 PM EDT
You may have seen a misleading Associated Press story this morning on the accuracy of Recovery Act job reports that were posted earlier this month on Recovery.gov. On the same day that we learned that the economy has begun to grow again for the first time in over year, the very critics who opposed economic rescue from the beginning are now trying use this misleading story to twist the truth about the early success of the Recovery Act. ...
And the AP has added a note about the White House's objections:
[# More #]Within minutes of the publication of AP's story, the White House released a statement that it said was the "real facts" about how jobs were counted in the stimulus data distributed two weeks ago. It said that had been a test run of a small subset of data that had been subjected only to three days of reviews, that it had already corrected "virtually all" the mistakes identified by the AP and that the discovery of mistakes "does not provide a statistically significant indication of the quality of the full reporting that will come on Friday."
The data partially reviewed by the AP for errors included all the data presently available, representing all known federal contracts awarded to businesses under the stimulus program. The figures being released Friday include different categories of stimulus spending by state governments, housing authorities, nonprofit groups and other organizations.
As of early Thursday, on its recovery.org Web site, the government was still citing 30,383 as the actual number of jobs linked so far to stimulus spending, despite the mistakes the White House has now acknowledged and said were being corrected.
Hey White House: How about you take your time and report the correct statistics next time? Exactly what deadline were you looking to meet? And who set the deadline?There's no evidence the White House sought to inflate job numbers in the report, but the administration embraced the flawed figures the moment they were released.
The figures released earlier this month claimed jobs linked to roughly $16 billion in federal contracts, an initial report on a small fraction of the total stimulus program. DeSeve said federal officials had only a few days to go through the data for errors before they were made public. ...
I think the American people could wait a couple more days to find out how little the stimulus has done. I don't think you wouldn't misreport these jobs numbers on purpose...
While the thousands of overstated jobs represent a tiny sliver of the overall economy, they represent a significant percentage of the initial employment count credited to the stimulus program.
Administration officials say they are trying to head off such problems before the new figures are released Friday.