Tracking the Stimulus Money

The US Government maintains a web site to "track the money" spent on the economic recover. This is a good thing - we want accountability and transparency.

The site maintains a map. I checked out my two States, Florida and Illinois. Each State received over $11 billion in stimulus funds, and spent over $5 billion in funds.

So far they are equal. But then we get to the self reported number of jobs created. Illinois claims over 13,000 jobs, while Florida claims over 59,000 jobs. Was Florida over four times as successful as Illinois creating jobs, or were they just more aggressive in guestimating the numbers?  

Impossible to know for sure. Probably some of both.

State Funds Received Jobs     Cost Per Job
Illinois 5,900,430,000     13,000     453,879
Florida 5,436,100,000     59,844       90,838

IL v Fl Job ratio    5 to  1

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Economic inequality has been mounting in the United States, hitting levels not seen since the Gilded Age.  There are numerous explanations for this phenomenon, ranging from the decline of unions and high-paid manufacturing jobs to the rise of globalization, of new technology, and knowledge-based work (what economists call “skill-based technical change”) and the bifurcation of the labor market into high-skill and low-skill jobs.