Federal stimulus grants worth $7.4 billion were awarded to Washington State in 2009.
That’s according to Gov. Chris Gregoire today, an announcement that reflects updates from the last quarter of the year. Recipients spent more than $535 million of the money in the fourth quarter, bringing the total spent so far to nearly $1 billion.
Pierce County agencies and companies have received $300.9 million.
Large shares include $1 billion for King County, $235 million for Spokane County, $214 million for Yakima County, $3.5 billion for Benton County – mostly for cleaning up the Hanford nuclear reservation – and $484 million for Thurston County, at least some of which reflects money sitting in the state capital waiting to go out to other parts of the state.
See some of the official numbers at the state recovery Web site (had not yet been updated with the latest numbers).
“Without the stimulus dollars Congress invested in Washington State, more of our people would be out of work,” Gregoire told reporters.
Gregoire says 14,500 Washington jobs were created or saved in the fourth quarter.
That brings the official estimate to some 45,000 jobs, but the jobs numbers can be misleading. Stimulus money covered paychecks for 24,000 teachers who were already contracted to finish out the school year, and who would not have been laid off without the money.
In the most recent quarter, though, Gregoire’s office says fewer than 2,000 of the jobs are in education.
Nationally, the Obama administration is claiming responsibility for some 600,000 jobs in the fourth quarter, as Reuters reports.