White House says stimulus boosted employment by as many as 3.6M jobs

A White House report released Friday said the 2009 stimulus bill raised GDP by as much as 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011.

The report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers said the stimulus added 2.3 to 3.2 percent to gross domestic product in the first quarter relative to what it otherwise would have been.

The stimulus package also increased employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by between 2.4 and 3.6 million jobs, the report said.

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Obama and Republicans have butted heads over the effectiveness of the stimulus, which was estimated to cost $787 billion when enacted.

Republicans, pointing to the latest report that unemployment rose again to 9.1 percent in May, claim it was a waste of money that did nothing to slow the recession. Obama maintains that the economy would be in worse shape without the stimulus.

The report credits the stimulus with positively changing "the trajectory of the economy" starting in the third quarter of 2009 and continuing through the first quarter of 2011.