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Southeast expected to see most stimulus job growth in 2010

http://66.225.205.104/JR20100217.mp3

It's exactly one year since the stimulus funding package passed and so far only a third of the $787 million has actually been paid out. But some experts say this is the year the stimulus funding will have it greatest impact. And Southeastern states are expected to see the biggest boost in jobs from stimulus projects. Most of the jobs that have been either created or saved as a result of stimulus funding have been government jobs like school teachers and police officers. That's because state and local governments were the first to get stimulus money and "only a limited amount of money made it down to the private sector," says Michael Balsam, an analyst for a company called Onvia which has been tracking contracts doled out to private businesses through the stimulus on its website www.Recovery.org. He says $90 billion in government contracts have already been awarded and as soon as that money is released, job growth in the private sector will kick in. "You know we're tracking tens of thousands of projects that are approved and awaiting the funds right now," says Balsam. "So we know exactly where the money's gonna go. It just needs to get there." Balsam says Southeastern states are set to see the biggest boost in jobs from the stimulus package in 2010 because a large percentage of the contracts are related to energy. For example, the company that manages the Savannah River Nuclear site in Aiken, South Carolina is receiving one of the single largest stimulus contracts in the country worth more than $1.5 billion. In North Carolina, Duke Energy is expecting $851 million to modernize its energy grid.

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