Stimulus created 4,740 Utah jobs last quarter

Published: Monday, Feb. 1 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Stimulus spending created 4,740 jobs in Utah during the last three months of 2009, according to new Obama administration figures.

That was down from the nearly 6,600 jobs reported for the previous quarter because, in part, the administration changed how it counts stimulus jobs. Instead of counting jobs "created or saved," it switched to count only the jobs funded with stimulus money. Critics had attacked the old measure as too subjective.

Nationwide, the administration said stimulus spending created 600,000 jobs in the final quarter of 2009.

In Utah, the administration said $1.73 billion in stimulus funds had been approved for projects during 2009, and $820.7 billion had actually been received as of the end of the year.

Utah ranked No. 33 among the states in the number of jobs created by stimulus money during the quarter — a bit better than its rank by population (Utah is the 34th-largest state by population).

Utah had about 1.8 stimulus-funded jobs created during the quarter per 1,000 residents — a bit below the national average of 1.9. Utah also ranked No. 33 among the states in that measure. The administration released reports from stimulus recipients covering much of the spending during the last quarter of 2009 and said better safeguards had been put in place to catch mistakes made previously, such as when it reported three months ago that more than $1 million went to Utah's 4th Congressional District. Utah only has three House districts.

The 10 stimulus projects that created the most jobs in Utah during the last quarter of 2009, according to that new year-end data, included:

1,890 jobs from a $263 million grant to the state from the Education Department to help retain administrative and faculty positions in the state's higher education system.

463 jobs from a $10.3 million grant from the Labor Department to the state Department of Workforce Services for employment and job training services.

352 jobs from an $87.3 million grant to the state from the Education Department for modernization and renovation of public schools.

136 jobs from a $104.9 million contract by the Energy Department with EnergySolutions to accelerate removal of uranium mill tailings from near Moab.

81 jobs from a $37.9 million grant to the state from the Energy Department for weatherization assistance programs.

77 jobs from a $41 million grant for construction of pipeline projects for the Central Utah Project, which brings water from eastern Utah to the Wasatch Front.

76 jobs from a $3.2 million grant from the Forest Service to Wasatch County for paving Forest Service roads.

70 jobs from a $1.8 million contract to A4 Construction for work to build a new building for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Fillmore.

58 jobs from a $48.3 million Transportation Department grant to the Utah Transit Authority for construction and rehabilitation of a new light-rail yard and shop, and the purchase of five commuter buses.

48 jobs from a poverty-reduction grant to the Utah Department of Community and Culture for work to help those in poverty, including increasing supportive services and food-pantry assistance.

e-mail: lee@desnews.com

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