Stimulus jobs program faces expiration

unemployed nametag

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Today's the federal government's
last day of the fiscal year. No budget's been passed, only an extension of the current one through the next couple of months.

And meanwhile, a stimulus program that put hundreds of thousands of unemployed people back to work runs out of money today. Senate Republicans have blocked new stimulus money to keep the program going. So pink slips could start going out.

Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman reports.


MITCHELL HARTMAN: The stimulus money has covered part of the paycheck for people to work at private companies, nonprofits and government offices. States and counties injected the money right into existing welfare-to-work and job-training programs.

Elizabeth Lower-Basch is at the Center for Law and Social Policy.

ELIZBAETH LOWER-BASCH: Almost all of the money that went to this went directly into wages. There was very little overhead, so there was a lot of job creation.

250,000 jobs -- everything from painting to pie-making. Some of those jobs have turned into permanent positions.

Without more federal money, most states will wind the program down, says Judy Conti of the National Employment Law Project.

JUDY CONTI: It could have really brought tremendous returns for a relatively modest investment, and it's a very sad wasted opportunity.

Senate Republicans have blocked additional funding, citing the deficit, though the program has strong support from governors of both political parties.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

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