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Oregon's Stimulus

OPB | March 18, 2010 9 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 9:18 p.m.

The state says its Go Oregon stimulus program has created or sustained approximately 7,500 jobs, but an analysis by The Oregonian suggests that number may not be accurate. Last February, the governor signed a bill that created a state stimulus program designed to spend $175 million on “shovel ready” projects around the state. The state has spent about $93 million so far, which is less than half the amount of federal stimulus money that’s flowed into Oregon. Yet, the number of jobs both the state and federal governments claim have been created or retained by each program is comparable. This begs the question: how do you define a job?

As it turns out, there are different ways to define a job. The federal definition is based on a calculation of hours worked, while Oregon’s method is to count the individuals working on a given project and put them into one of two categories based on whether they were hired for that particular project or not. It’s hard to say exactly what accounts for the different ratios between spending and jobs in the state and federal stimulus programs. The state agency responsible for reporting data for the “Go Oregon” project removed the most recent report from their website, saying it was “inaccurate.”

Has your job been affected by the state stimulus? How do you measure the effectiveness of the “Go Oregon” program?

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