Each Oregon Stimulus Job Costs $371,000 Per Year

It appears that many states are supplementing federal stimulus dollars with state stimulus programs of their own. Predictably things are going poorly…

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – How much are politicians straining to convince people that the government is stimulating the economy? In Oregon, where lawmakers are spending $176 million to supplement the federal stimulus, Democrats are taking credit for a remarkable feat: creating 3,236 new jobs in the program’s first three months.

But those jobs lasted on average only 35 hours, or about one work week. After that, those workers were effectively back unemployed, according to an Associated Press analysis of state spending and hiring data. By the state’s accounting, a job is a job, whether it lasts three hours, three days, three months, or a lifetime.

“Sometimes some work for an individual is better than no work,” said Oregon’s Senate president, Peter Courtney.

3,236 jobs * 35 hours = 113 260 man hours. That’s not a lot of work for $176 million. In fact if that’s all they got for their money those jobs cost would have cost Oregon taxpayers $1,554 per hour. However buried deeper in the story is the fact that not all of the $176 million has been spent so far.

According to its latest progress report, 8 percent of the money has been spent and hundreds of projects have yet to be completed. More paychecks are bound to be written as construction continues.

Since the AP report appeared the Oregon Department of Administrative Services has released another report [PDF] that has more current numbers.

Go Oregon! has infused a total of $26.7 million into the Oregon economy to date. This is roughly 15 percent of the total $175 million scheduled to be spent on this program. Here’s a quick summary of the total amounts “spent by” each report date:

Report #1 (May 1st) $ 2,131,333
Report #2 (June 17th) $ 13,463,996
Report #3 (July 17th) $ 26,749,655


They’ve now spent $26,749,655 for 144,000 hours of work. Do the math, that’s $185 an hour.

That means that every full-time job “created” by Oregon’s stimulus programs costs taxpayers nearly $371,000 a year.

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