Direct federal contracts from the stimulus package have created 202 jobs in Oklahoma, mostly in construction and engineering services, according to the first round of reports from the government’s stimulus accountability board.
Nationwide, about 30,300 jobs have been created from stimulus-related federal contracts since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in February.
About $16 billion in stimulus contracts have been awarded, a small slice of the overall $787 billion stimulus package that also includes tax cuts and direct federal aid to states.
So far, Oklahoma companies, cities or agencies have received 120 federal contracts worth $92.3 million, according to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which runs the Recovery.gov Web site.
More than half of the 202 new jobs went to Oklahoma City or Tinker Air Force Base. Only jobs created by direct federal contracts are being tracked, while jobs created by other stimulus funds are not.
A long-planned project to rehabilitate the runway at Bartlesville’s airport created 38 jobs, the most at one site among Oklahoma contracts. Terry Lauritsen, the city’s director of engineering, said the $3.5 million project should be finished in the next few weeks. The project went through the Federal Aviation Administration.
Lauritsen said Bartlesville has two other stimulus-related projects pending. One will renovate city hall to make it more energy efficient. The other is a combination of grants and loans to make water system improvements.
Stimulus experts said tracking job creation from the recovery package won’t be an exact science.
Federal contract recipients report information, including employment estimates, but those reporting requirements don’t filter down to the subcontractor level.
Critics of the stimulus package say its job creation has been anemic, especially as the national jobless rate hovers near 10 percent. The White House estimated about 1 million jobs have been saved or created this year from stimulus spending.
Federal stimulus site
Oklahoma contracts awarded so far
Data Watch blog: More information on those stimulus watch