WASHINGTON May 25 The stimulus law enacted in
2009 to help jolt the United States out of recession continued
to pay dividends this year by adding jobs and expanding the
economy, the Congressional Budget Office said on Wednesday.
For the first three months of this year, the stimulus law
lowered the nation's unemployment rate by between 0.6
percentage points and 1.8 percentage points, the non-partisan
budget and economic analyst for Congress estimated.
Even with that boost, the U.S. jobless rate for April was 9
percent, rising somewhat from 8.8 percent the previous month as
more people entered the job market.
The CBO estimated that as a result of the stimulus
spending, somewhere between 1.2 million and 3.3 million more
people were employed in the first quarter.
When it was being debated, some in the Obama administration
estimated the huge stimulus would prevent the U.S. unemployment
rate from rising above 8 percent. Instead, the jobless rate
reached a high of 10.1 percent in October, 2009, and one year
later had dropped only to 9.7 percent.
The overall U.S. economy benefited, CBO said, as
inflation-adjusted gross domestic product rose by between 1.1
percent and 3.1 percent because of the measure.
Republicans, who voted against the economic stimulus law
when it was moving through Congress, have insisted that the
measure created few if any jobs and has exploded U.S. budget
deficits that are estimated to be around $1.4 trillion this
CBO estimates the stimulus law will increase budget
deficits by about $830 billion over 10 years.
The economic stimulus bill was aimed at injecting federal
funds for construction and research projects throughout the
(Reporting by Richard Cowan)