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Unemployment Claims Data Provide Another Painful Reminder that Democrats Promised Stimulus Would Deliver 3.5 Million Jobs But Only “Stimulated” 3.7 Million More Into Unemployment

November 19, 2009

Washington, DC – In reaction to the unemployment claims data released today, Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) noted that these statistics are “a painful reminder that the Democrats’ stimulus bill has failed to create jobs.”

“Unemployment rates and claims are not just statistics; they represent real Americans who are no longer receiving a paycheck to provide for themselves and their families,” Camp added.  “The facts speak for themselves: there are now 3.7 million more unemployed Americans than the President promised.  That’s an unemployment line that would literally stretch from Washington, DC to Chicago, Illinois. ”

Income Security and Family Support Ranking Member John Linder (R-GA) added that, “The Obama Administration can continue to bicker about what constitutes a saved or created job, but their definition is irrelevant to the millions of Americans that find themselves jobless.  No amount of Federal spending, no White House jobs summit, nor any unemployment check can replace a wage-earning job.”  

BACKGROUND: The Obama Administration  predicted the stimulus bill it muscled through Congress in early 2009 would “save or create” 3.5 million jobs.  Meanwhile, data released on November 6, 2009 revealed the U.S. unemployment rate reached 10.2% in October, well above the 7.8% level the Administration projected would be the case if stimulus passed.  Today, due to the failure of stimulus to create or save jobs, there are 3.7 million more unemployed Americans than the President promised there would be with passage of his stimulus bill.  Here is the breakdown between the unemployment the Administration projected and the “surplus” unemployment its stimulus plan has actually delivered:

 Source: Ways and Means staff calculations, using BLS data and Administration projections.

• If the 3.7 million “surplus” unemployed stood back to back, they would form an unemployment line stretching 698 miles – the distance from Washington, DC to Chicago, Illinois.

• The 3.7 million “surplus” unemployed are larger than the population of 24 U.S. States (AK, AR, CT, DC, DE, HI, ID, IA, KS, ME, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, RI, SD, UT, VT, WV, W).

• The 3.7 million “surplus” unemployed includes an average of 8,483 for each of the 435 Congressional districts represented in the U.S. House.