In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was responsible for green jobs growth, home weatherization projects, tax credits, and a bevy of other projects designed to help the nation’s economy recovery from the financial crisis it faced. Today the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) updated the economic impact of the ARRA through the fourth quarter of 2009.

As 2009 came to a close, $263 billion of the $787 billion act had been utilized in the form of grants, loans and tax credits. Although only one-third of the funding had actually been utilized at the end of Q4 2009, just over 50 percent of the total funding has been spoken for.

The ARRA was responsible for an approximate 2 percent rise in the nation’s GDP in the fourth quarter of 2009, which is similar to what was predicted by independent agencies including Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, and other private firms.

The CEA reports that about 640,000 jobs were created or saved in the third quarter of 2009 due to ARRA funding. Although there are no figures available for Q4 2009 at this time, the CEA expects to see a greater impact on job creation and job savings once the numbers become available.

Just last week, President Obama announced that $2 billion in tax credits would be made available to the clean energy manufacturing industry to help stimulate green collar job growth. This funding is in addition to the tax credits and other ARRA-funded projects that were created in 2009.

The CEA report summary provides specific details on how the ARRA has supported clean energy growth in our nation:

  • At the end of Q4 2009, $5 billion in clean energy tax cuts or project funds had been utilized with $26 billion accounted for.
  • About 52,000 clean energy jobs were created or saved thanks to ARRA funding.
  • Early estimates are that a total of 700,000 job-years will be created by ARRA funding through Q4 2012. A job year is one job held for one year so a person that is employed for two years due to ARRA clean energy funding will be counted as two job-years.
  • The majority of clean energy jobs came in transit and high-speed rail, renewable energy generation, and energy efficiency industries.
  • Smaller job growth was seen in grid modernization, clean energy equipment manufacturing, and green jobs training programs.

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