On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department's Office of Inspector General issued an audit
showing that the $500 million the Obama Administration spent to create
"green jobs" has produced only 11,613 jobs lasting over six months, a
figure just 16% of original projections.
The Labor Department said it disagreed with the findings of its own Office of Audit: "This
report does not take into account that nearly half of the grants are
still active and thousands of workers are still participating in the
program," a spokeswoman said in a statement.
But the audit paints a very different picture. From the Office of Inspector General report:
of a target of 81,254, grantees collectively reported 30,857
participants (38 percent) entered employment. While grantees reported
that 49 percent of participants who obtained jobs retained employment
for at least 6 months, the reported number retained of 11,613 represents
only 16 percent of the planned retention goal of 71,017. Moreover,
42,322 participants (52 percent) who completed training were incumbent
workers, meaning the participants were already employed when they
entered the program. Grantees were authorized to train incumbent workers
who needed training to secure full-time employment, advance their
careers, or retain their current jobs. However, for the 81 incumbent
workers we identified in our sample, we found no evidence that they
needed green job training for any of these purposes.
The Labor Department's green jobs training program is but a part of
President Barack Obama's much larger $90 billion clean energy stimulus
Critics say the low jobs numbers are hardly
surprising, given the amount of cronyism involved in the allocation of
the green energy stimulus monies. As Newsweek has reported, roughly 80% of the Department of Energy's $20.5 billion in loans granted "went to companies
either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers—individuals
who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or
large donors to the Democratic Party."
In 2008, Mr. Obama promised his policies would create 5 million "green collar" jobs.