State officials overseeing the federal economic stimulus program in Massachusetts say they have no idea how the White House came up with one key pledge – the promise to save or create 79,000 jobs in the state.
They say they’re not even sure how to measure saved jobs – and fear the jobs figure sets an unrealistic yardstick against which the success or failure of the program will be measured.
“The federal estimate of 79,000, we really don’t know what’s behind that, we just plain don’t,” said Jeffrey Simon, director of infrastructure investment in Massachusetts. “I’m not saying it’s not 79,000, but I just don’t have any way of knowing that.”
Critics say the numbers are fuzzy, particularly when it comes to saved jobs.