The Recovery Act: Still Creating Jobs in Wisconsin

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 5:32 PM by

Thousands of Wisconsinites – perhaps tens of thousands – owe their jobs to the Recovery Act. Nationally, the Recovery Act increased the number of people employed by between 200,000 and 1.5 million in the first quarter of 2012, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office. If one-fiftieth of that increased employment occurred in Wisconsin, then the Recovery Act increased the number of employed Wisconsinites by between 4,000 and 30,000 in 2012. That’s a significant boost, especially considering the very limited job growth in Wisconsin over the last year.

The Recovery Act (officially known as the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act) was passed in early 2009 with the goal of stimulating the economy, creating jobs and cushioning the worst effects of the recession. The Recovery Act included a temporary mixture of tax cuts, fiscal relief for states, and enhanced support for families affected by the crisis.

The effects of the Recovery Act on the economy peaked in 2010, but some effects are still being felt. According to the Congressional Budget Office, in the first quarter of 2012, the Recovery Act:

  • increased the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by between 0.1 percent and 1.0 percent;
  • lowered the national unemployment rate by between 0.1 percentage points and 0.8 percentage points;
  • and increased the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs by between 300,000 and 1.9 million. (The CBO explains that “increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers.”)

Three years after it was enacted, the Recovery Act is still increasing employment levels nationally and in Wisconsin. Without it, many more Wisconsinites would be out of a job.

Tamarine Cornelius

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