Jobs Plan Comes Without Projections of Job Creation

Stung by critics of projections in its 2009 economic stimulus plan, the White House does not plan to release a forecast for job creation in President Obama's new $450 billion jobs plan.

"I think our plan is more to rely on the independent forecasts and let them speak for themselves," said Gene Sperling, director of the President's National Economic Council, in an interview with Fox Business on Friday.

In 2009, the President's Council of Economic Advisors said the President's $800 billion economic stimulus plan would "save or create" millions of jobs. pushing the unemployment rate down to about 7% by now.

Instead, the jobless rate remains stubbornly stuck at about 9%, which has supplied Administration critics with ammunition to attack the President's economic plans and policies.

"To be honest, we do find at times when we do put out our number, it becomes treated more politically," Sperling said. "What really happened (with the 2009 job creation forecast) was that people didn't deal with it in a serious way."

(You can see a CEA graph of the 2009 stimulus forecast here, updated for actual jobless rates.)

Among private forecasts the Administration is citing in predicting the possible impact of its new jobs plan:

--Moody's Analytics, which estimated that the plan would add 2 percentage points to GDP growth next year and 1.9 million jobs and would cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point.

--Macroeconomic Advisors, which wrote that the new plan would boost the level of GDP by 1.3% by the end of 2012, and by 0.2% by the end of 2013. It said the plan would raise nonfarm payrolls by 1.3 million by the end of 2012 and 800,000 by the end of 2013.     --Economic Policy Institute, which estimates the plan would add 3.3% to GDP growth next year and create 3.9 million new jobs.

The important thing though is that everyone is suggesting the same thing--that this (new plan) would provide significant momentum for economic growth and job creation, Sperling said.

Not all analysts cheered the plan, however.

Not even down-the-line Keynesians believe that the package of items Mr. Obama has proposed would substantially affect growth and unemployment, even if it were adopted and implemented tomorrow, said William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former domestic policy advisor to President Bill Clinton.

Many of the steps (Obama) has outlined extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance coverage, for example will only prevent existing legislation from lapsing, Galston said. Tax credits to stimulate hiring have been tried in the past, and economists are divided over their effectiveness.

Economists at RBC Capital Markets wrote simply: No silver bullets here.

Rich Edson contributed to this article