SIOUX FALLS, SD -
A quarterly report just released by the federal government shows the stimulus package has created or saved thousands of jobs in South Dakota.
The new report
says federal stimulus money has saved or created 7,000 jobs in South Dakota so far this year. While that may seem significant, it's actually the third lowest number for states; only Alaska and Wyoming had fewer jobs listed in the report.
Nonetheless, Governor Mike Rounds says the state has benefited greatly from stimulus funding.
It's a smoother ride these days along Interstate 90 between White Lake and Mount Vernon. A construction project in the westbound lane was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the $787 billion stimulus package.
"We were very pleased to be able to have dollars for road construction. We put out $183 million in terms of construction projects between last year and this year," Governor Mike Rounds said.
Whether it was labor that supplied jobs or materials that supported business, that single 22-mile project cost $23 million to complete, all paid for by stimulus money.
Another area highlighted by Rounds is water projects. He says stimulus money that flowed from Washington helped keep work moving here in South Dakota.
"We did almost $40 million in water projects, some of them have already, some of them will be starting this summer," Rounds said.
The federal figures also consider money that didn't go directly to state governments. The 7,000 jobs saved or created also considers money that went to organizations and businesses. One example is the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society, which received $40,000 for the preservation of jobs.
The Governor says every bit of help from the federal government has added up.
"Each one of those projects creates job opportunities, so there are people that are working in South Dakota that would not have had a job if it wouldn't have been for that stimulus package," Rounds said.
The federal report says the 7,000 number was reached by using three different formulas to determine how many jobs have been created or saved. The answer of those three formulas were then averaged, and that's how the report figured the number of jobs.
South Dakota officials also keep tabs on how many jobs are created by the stimulus program in the state, but only for those that the money is from a state program or grant.
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