White House: Stimulus Helped 2 Million Jobs

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The White House now says its stimulus spending bill has created or saved up to two million jobs.

Some are disputing that claim. Republicans say the nearly $800 billion stimulus was just an expensive flop.

The national unemployment rate is stuck at 10 percent and the economy lost 85,000 more jobs in December.

However, the report from the President's Council of Economic Advisers said the economy is a lot better off than it would have been without the stimulus bill. According to the council's analysis and a range of private sector summaries, the annual growth rate last year would have been nearly 2 percentage points lower, and there would have been between 1.5 to 2 million fewer jobs.

"That's truly a stunning and important effect", Christina Romer, the council's chairwoman, said in a conference call with reporters. "It has done exactly what we have anticipated it would do."

An Associated Press study shows that the transportation stimulus has had no effect on unemployment.

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