First at Five, February 17, 2009
AUGUSTA, Ga.---The federal stimulus plan is now in effect and is supposed to save and create thousands of jobs in Georgia and South Carolina, but some wonder if that will really be the case.
Gilbert Barnes spends more time at the unemployment office than he wants to, since he's been out of a job about four months.
"I've always been a worker and it's kind of new to me, not being able to work," said Barnes.
His last job at Southern Mechanical lasted seven years, but finding another job has not been easy.
"Most people are not hiring right now. I guess the economy, it's pretty rough," said Barnes.
Now, he's hoping the federal stimulus plan will help him. Along with the plan comes a new website, Recovery.-gov, where you can see for yourself where the $787 billion goes.
The website says over the next two years, the plan should create or save 107,000 jobs in Georgia, and 50,000 in South Carolina.
"I think it will create jobs. It will stimulate the economy. I just think there may be more effective ways to stimulate and create the same amount of jobs," said Economist Dr. Mark Thompson, a professor at Augusta State.
Thompson says one problem is the stimulus is looking to create jobs in areas that do not have high levels of unemployment. One example, he says is health care.
"A good chunk that is directed in that area is just not going to create a lot of jobs," said Thompson.
Still, he believes the stimulus should help some of those without a job, and Barnes sure hopes he's right.
Dr. Thompson says the way it's phrased on the website, "saving or creating jobs," may be misleading. He says it's hard to say a job is saved when you don't know if it definitely would have been lost in the first place.