President Barack Obama's economic recovery program saved 935 jobs at the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council, an impressive success story for the stimulus plan. Trouble is, only 508 people work there.
The Georgia nonprofit's inflated job count is among persisting errors in the government's latest effort to measure the effect of the $787 billion stimulus plan despite White House promises last week that the new data would undergo an "extensive review" to root out errors discovered in an earlier report.
About two-thirds of the 14,506 jobs claimed to be saved under one federal office, the Administration for Children and Families at Health and Human Services, actually weren't saved at all, according to a review of the latest data by The Associated Press. Instead, that figure includes more than 9,300 existing employees in hundreds of local agencies who received pay raises and benefits and whose jobs weren't saved.
That type of accounting was found in an earlier AP review of stimulus jobs, which the Obama administration said was misleading because most of the government's job-counting errors were being fixed in the new data.
The administration now acknowledges overcounting in the new numbers for the HHS program. Elizabeth Oxhorn, a spokeswoman for the White House recovery office, said the Obama administration was reviewing the Head Start data "to determine how and if it will be counted."
But officials defended the practice of counting raises as saved jobs.
"If I give you a raise, it is going to save a portion of your job," HHS spokesman Luis Rosero said.
Big props to the AP for staying on the story and holding the administration accountable. I wonder how long before the White House's "reality check" website accuses the AP of "misleading" reporting again. To read the rest of the report, click here.