Has the Recovery Act worked? You betcha

Data show 2 million jobs added, job losses declining

As President Obama has acknowledged, the Great Recession has pushed more people out of work than he anticipated when he took office. He’s taken a lot of flak for that, and for his $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The reality is that, according to several independent economic-research firms and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the Recovery Act has added anywhere from 1.6 million to 2.4 million jobs.

In a recession, people stop spending, forcing businesses to cut back. The appropriate response is for government to step in and spend money in a targeted way to keep people working while the economy recovers.

That’s exactly what’s happened in this case. An economy that was in freefall when the president took office is now growing. And, while unemployment is still unacceptably high, the number of jobs being lost is declining, as the accompanying chart shows.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics