MORE STABILIZING THAN STIMULATIVE
More than $8 million dollars in federal economic stimulus money is being poured into expanding Highway 60 this month, but the contractor says the money is doing more to help save jobs than create new ones.
Journagan Construction says about 40 workers are involved in the first stage of the widening project, which will create alternating passing lanes from Monett to Republic. But calculating the number of new or saved jobs on this single project could involve some fuzzy math.
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John View of Journagan Construction acknowledges he has trouble estimating how many actual new jobs this $8.6 million dollar construction project has created.
"That's difficult to say, in how many employees were brought back to work," View said. That's because this project has mostly allowed Journagan to recall workers it had already laid off. "In this particular case, it's not necessarily new jobs being created," View added.
STILL -- Worker Phillip Rousell of Ozark is thankful he's pouring the cement.
"Commercial work's been pretty near to nothing, so the state work has really kept us in our job," Rousell said, when asked about the impact this project has had on his employment.
The Obama White House has been careful to note that the intent of the stimulus is to "save and create" jobs. Last month, amid growing criticism, the White House pledged the stimulus package would save or create 600,000 jobs by early September.