If you are a contractor lucky enough to have won a stimulus project, one of the pesky requirements attached to the project is reporting the number of new jobs created by the project. Many builders and contractors have been wondering how exactly to do that. Finally, at long last, the White House has provided clarity:
”Just count the people being paid out of Recovery Act dollars,” said Rob Nabors, deputy director at the White House budget office.
Wait, that didn’t answer all the questions out there. If someone was already working for you, do they count? What about subcontractors? If you receive multiple stimulus contracts and employ the same person for both jobs, is that one job or two? Maybe there is further clarification:
”This whole thing is tricky. I’m not going to pretend it’s not,” Nabors said. ”This whole effort is virtually unprecedented.”
Oh, now I get it!
The reporting of ARRA jobs is going to be an extremely confusing and important issue for all parties. Back on June 22, I wrote: "As we draw closer to the 2010 election cycle, you can bet that politicians who supported the ARRA will be looking to tout green jobs that were created."
Turns out, the federal government isn’t the only one hoping to tout good job creation numbers:
If the numbers are to be reliable, however, states, cities and contractors must report honestly. White House officials know there are political and financial incentive to cheat: Contractors can use job-creation data as a public relations ploy. Local politicians can turn job numbers into campaign literature. And states that use the money well could be in line to get more of it. In the absence of these rules, some states have announced jobs based on out-of-date formulas, leading to implausible estimates. Ohio officials, for instance, have estimated that a $20 million bridge construction project will create or save 10,500 jobs.
As funds for green building projects start flowing from the General Services Administration and the Department of Energy, everyone will be paying attention to the number of green jobs created by these agency projects. If you have to report green jobs, be extra careful that you follow the reporting requirements, whatever those requirements may be.