Stimulus Slowdown: States Lag, Jobs Sag

Some states are taking their time spending stimulus highway dollars, and jobs aren't being created as quickly as the feds had hoped.

When President Obama was pushing the stimulus, he predicted that the injection of new federal highway funds would keep or create 150,000 jobs by the end of this year.

Turns out, that number is far from being a reality, because many states aren't putting those funds into on-the-ground projects as quickly as the federal government had anticipated.  

And some of the states that are taking the longest to implement the projects are also places with some of the highest unemployment rates. Take California. According to analysis from McClatchy Newspapers, the Golden State "has yet to start 41 percent of its highway projects
" under the stimulus.  And Californians could use the work: At 12.4 percent unemployment, California is the third-worst state in terms of people out of work.

Virginia is lagging more than California, with 52 percent of its projects yet to start.

The upshot: Highway stimulus spending has resulted in about 92,000 jobs, rather than the administration's hoped-for 150,000.

Zach Patton -- Executive Editor. Zach joined GOVERNING as a staff writer in 2004. He received the 2011 Jesse H. Neal Award for Outstanding Journalism