Effect of Jobs Program Disputed

The Treasury Department is touting new numbers that claim 5.6 million unemployed Americans got new jobs under the so-called “HIRE” act. That’s the law that exempts employers from payroll taxes if they hire people who have been out of work for more than 60 days. But critics say the numbers may not tell the whole story.

Treasury Department officials say under the HIRE act, 756,000 Californians got jobs since February.

“Suppose someone is hired and paid $40,000,” said Dr Alan Kreuget, the Treasury’s chief economist. “If the employer keeps the worker on for a year, he gets an additional $1,000 tax break.”

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The Treasury calls this proof that the tax cut is an effective job creator, but Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economic doesn’t agree. He says the impact of the program on job creation is marginal.

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