Before it is all said and done for the $862 billion federal stimulus, the federal government may spend nearly $300,000 for each of the jobs it created in Texas.
The Tribune points out that in each of the more than half of the stimulus grants to state agencies no more than three jobs were created.
To these new Tribune tools, Texas Watchdog adds one we have been using for nearly two years to measure the cost of stimulus job creation: a calculator.
Last November, using the same figures provided to the Tribune by the state Comptroller, we reported on at least a dozen agencies that spent at least $1 million and created no jobs.
Using the Tribune’s chart we find the state Attorney General’s office spent $7.8 million on a victim compensation program that resulted in no jobs. The Department of Agriculture’s emergency food assistance program plowed through $6.4 million without creating a job.
Even in places where lots of jobs were created they were expensive. The Texas Education Agency was able to create or retain 27,487 jobs with $2.8 billion from a fiscal stabilization grant, one of nine stimulus grants awarded to the agency. This works out to $103,000 for each job.
If you look carefully, the Tribune graphics reveal something else. While the job creation numbers in Texas topped out several reporting periods ago, programs that are already done hiring still have stimulus money to spend, $3.3 billion of it.
The more money spent without creating another job, the higher the cost for each job.
The Railroad Commission, for example, has so far spent about $2.9 million for conservation research and created 2.66 positions, about $1.1 million per position. When the agency is done spending its $12.6 million, assuming not another job is added, each job will have cost about $4.7 million.
The conservation research and development being done by the Texas State Technical College System has created 5.4 jobs at a cost of $850,788 apiece. When they exhaust their $12.3 million grant the cost of those jobs will have jumped to about $2.3 million each.
The Tribune chart does not include state totals for job creation and spending. Last month, we calculated that statewide roughly 41,000 jobs reported to the Comptroller as created with stimulus money cost almost $205,000 each.
That average is going up. When all $11.75 billion in stimulus grants are exhausted, assuming the jobs peak continues to hold as it has, each of those jobs will cost taxpayers about $286,000.
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or email@example.com or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.
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Photo of construction sign by flickr user Brian_Brooks, used via a Creative Commons license.