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Sneak Peak on Stimulus: Just a Small Slice of the Pie

The agency responsible for making the Recovery Act transparent to the American people gave us a sneak peak today into what the public will learn about contracts given out so far.

Stimulus Scorecard
Stimulus Scorecard

We went through the numbers at Recovery.gov to provide the most important highlights. One caveat: the Recovery Board is withholding data from two contracts "until those the two recipients can correct their obviously incorrect submissions."

The data says that 30,383 jobs have been created or saved thanks to contracts awarded under the stimulus package. Remember, contracts make up just one small slice of the awards pie. For perspective, earlier in the week, California reported that 100,000 jobs were saved or created through direct Recovery Act awards from the Federal Government.

Of the 47,176 awards to date, 5,232 are contracts, worth about $16 billion — $2 billion of which actually has been received. Divide that into $787 billion, and you see that this is just a percentage of the overall Recovery Act.

Colorado, which has an unemployment rate of 7.3% — well below the national average — has created or saved the most contractor-related jobs. A little more than 550-million was awarded to the state, but only $48 million has been received. With that amount, Colorado created or saved 4,695 jobs.

Compare that to Rhode Island with an unemployment rate of 12.8% — the third highest in the country. That state has been awarded $7.6 million dollars in contractor funds, received just $540,000 and created or saved just 6 jobs.

There has been criticism of the slow speed at which recovery funds have been distributed. Today’s data will do little to curb that criticism. Of the 5,000-plus contracts awarded, less than one fifth are completed, while more than 30-percent of the projects have not even started.

The top contract in the country went to the vaccine division of Sanofi Aventis: $1.4 billion "to supply pediatric vaccines for CDC's Vaccine for Children contract." The contract was awarded in Pennsylvania, but Sanofi is actually a French-based company. This is just one of six contracts awarded to Sanofi in the state, worth nearly $1.7 billion in total.

There are several billion-dollar contracts for planned for nuclear clean-up. Today’s data shows just one — the $1.35 billion given to CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company in conjunction with a Department of Energy site in Richland, Washington. The company is privately held and recently took over site management from Fluor.

The release of this contract information is preliminary and is a portion of the overall reporting process. The bulk of the data — including grant and loan awards — will be posted at the end of October.

Be sure to get in touch with us: stimulus@cnbc.com