Governor Deval Patrick said this afternoon that 23,533 individual jobs had been created or retained as a direct result of $1.9 billion in federal stimulus money that Massachusetts has spent so far.
“In Massachusetts, the recovery act is working,” Patrick said at a press conference in his State House office, where he was surrounded by labor union officials, state lawmakers, and cabinet members. “To be clear, many, many challenges remain. As long as so many people are out of work and so many lives are being disrupted, we have a lot of work to do. It’s still a crisis in many respects. But this is a hopeful sign, and further confirmation we’re moving in the right direction.”
The job figures are reflected in the first of a series of quarterly reports that states are required to file to the federal government by Friday. Patrick's announcement comes as he prepares to outline, likely tomorrow, broad budget reductions as a result of lackluster tax revenues so far this fiscal year.
The 23,533 individual jobs amount to 8,792 full-time positions, according to the administration’s calculations. In addition, the Patrick administration estimates that there have been 11,767 indirect jobs that have been created or retained because of stimulus spending. The positions overwhelmingly are teachers in local school districts, Patrick said, but they also include firefighters, police officers, and construction workers.
State officials so far have authorized spending of $1.9 billion out of $4 billion that the federal government has provided. They expect the federal government to provide an additional $2 billion, to be spent over the 27-month period called for in the stimulus legislation.
Matt Viser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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