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Job Creation, NIH Style

The 2009 stimulus funding channeled into the National Institutes of Health helped put scores of researchers and their support staffs to work.

By | December 15, 2011

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, LUCAS

The money pumped into the National Institutes of Health in 2009 by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)—more than $8 billion over 2 years—helped create thousands of jobs as the agency funded new and expanded grant programs, according to a government report released last month.

The Government Accounting Office (GAO), at the behest of Republican members of the House of Representatives, found that ARRA funding has created about one full-time equivalent position for each of the 21,500 grants NIH awarded since the bill's enactment. Though the total number of jobs is tricky to pin down because the positions are reported quarterly, the NIH told GAO officials that the controversial stimulus dollars could end up creating and supporting 54,000 jobs.

While scientists occupied about 58 percent of the ARRA-funded jobs, according to the GAO report, information technologists, postdocs, and other support staff filled remaining positions.

Though the numbers are encouraging, less clear is what will happen when ARRA money dries up sometime next year. The GAO report was mum on this point.

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Avatar of: Edward Berry

Edward Berry

Posts: 1

December 15, 2011

This seriously underestimates the effect of stimulus spending. The direct job creation is only the tip of the iceberg. In order to carry out their projects, those researchers ordered all kinds of reagents and equipment, which allowed hiring (or prevented layoffs) in biotech and manufacturing companies. And because the researchers and the employees of the biotech and manufacturing companies had jobs, their consumer confidence and their discretionary spending was increased, they spent more, and created more jobs in service and manufacturing sectors. The money cycles through the economy over and over, creating jobs at each cycle. And those jobs created translate into income tax paid which could be used for more stimulus spending.
  Conversely any cut in spending will not affect only those whose job was cut, but those supplying materials to support those jobs, and those who supply the goods that these employees would have purchased if they felt better about their future. And all these layoffs translate into income tax not paid and in some cases unemployment insurance collected, burdening the government.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

December 15, 2011

This seriously underestimates the effect of stimulus spending. The direct job creation is only the tip of the iceberg. In order to carry out their projects, those researchers ordered all kinds of reagents and equipment, which allowed hiring (or prevented layoffs) in biotech and manufacturing companies. And because the researchers and the employees of the biotech and manufacturing companies had jobs, their consumer confidence and their discretionary spending was increased, they spent more, and created more jobs in service and manufacturing sectors. The money cycles through the economy over and over, creating jobs at each cycle. And those jobs created translate into income tax paid which could be used for more stimulus spending.
  Conversely any cut in spending will not affect only those whose job was cut, but those supplying materials to support those jobs, and those who supply the goods that these employees would have purchased if they felt better about their future. And all these layoffs translate into income tax not paid and in some cases unemployment insurance collected, burdening the government.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

December 15, 2011

This seriously underestimates the effect of stimulus spending. The direct job creation is only the tip of the iceberg. In order to carry out their projects, those researchers ordered all kinds of reagents and equipment, which allowed hiring (or prevented layoffs) in biotech and manufacturing companies. And because the researchers and the employees of the biotech and manufacturing companies had jobs, their consumer confidence and their discretionary spending was increased, they spent more, and created more jobs in service and manufacturing sectors. The money cycles through the economy over and over, creating jobs at each cycle. And those jobs created translate into income tax paid which could be used for more stimulus spending.
  Conversely any cut in spending will not affect only those whose job was cut, but those supplying materials to support those jobs, and those who supply the goods that these employees would have purchased if they felt better about their future. And all these layoffs translate into income tax not paid and in some cases unemployment insurance collected, burdening the government.

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