Nearly 4 million more Americans are unemployed compared with what the White House predicted in 2009, according to a new analysis.
Using 2009 White House estimates and current data about the size of the labor force, analysts with the Senate Budget Committee calculated 3.7 million more people are without a job than would have been if the administration’s claims about the $787 stimulus package had proved correct.
Shortly after President Obama was sworn in, the White House argued the stimulus was necessary to prevent unemployment from rising above 8 percent.
However, that prediction did not pan out. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that unemployment remained steady at 8.3 percent in February, marking the 37th straight month the unemployment rate has exceeded 8 percent.
Since President Obama signed the stimulus package into law in February 2009, the unemployment rate has averaged 9.4 percent.
According to the administration’s own stimulus projections, the unemployment rate should be about 6 percent at this point in time. Instead, the actual rate is more than 30 percent higher.
Former White House economic adviser Larry Summers predicted in 2009 that unless the stimulus package was enacted, millions of Americans would join the unemployment rolls.
“In the absence of fiscal stimulus the economy is projected to lose 3 to 4 million jobs in 2009,” Summers wrote in a confidential memo at the time.