The federal government sent Bob Bray $26,174 in stimulus aid to fix a fence and replace the roofs on public apartments in Blooming Grove, Texas, a town of fewer than 900 people outside Dallas. He hired five roofers and an inspector to do the job.
But the number of jobs he reported to the government looked very different — 450 jobs.
"Oh, no," said Bray, who runs the local public housing authority part-time with his wife, Linda, when asked about the discrepancy. He said that he told the government that he had created six jobs but that a federal official told him that wasn't right. So he reported the number of hours the roofers worked instead. The Department of Housing and Urban Development caught the mistake, but he couldn't fix it before the jobs figures were published. "The money was great, but the reports are really confusing," he said. "I've been fighting with it for over a month and a half."
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The administration reported Friday that stimulus recipients reported having created or saved 640,329 jobs this year, a figure it said buttressed its contention that the $787 billion package has had a significant economic impact. The jobs total is based on reports of more than 130,000 recipients of stimulus grants and contracts filed with the federal government.
Obama's senior adviser for the stimulus, Ed DeSeve, said last week that officials had "scrubbed" those reports for three weeks before they were released Friday, though he said some would still have errors.
USA TODAY reviewed the reports to determine the number of jobs created or saved per stimulus dollar. The review found 14 recipients that reported saving or creating more than 100 jobs for less than $1,500 per job — suggesting they over-reported the number of jobs. Those included:
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