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Government watchdog says stimulus job creation data was flawed

November 19, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government watchdog overseeing economic stimulus spending says the White House was too quick to take credit for saving or creating 640,000 jobs.

The White House trumpeted job figures released last month, saying they proved the administration is on track to save or create 3.5 million jobs by the end of next year.

But Earl Devaney, whose agency collected and released the data, said Thursday there are too many errors to know how many jobs have been created. Under questioning on Capitol Hill, he agreed the White House should have acknowledged the doubt surrounding the numbers.

He said the downside of the unprecedented transparency is embarrassment, and there's enough embarrassment over the accounting problems to go around.

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