STIMULUS JOBS…. The White House has done its own reporting on how many jobs have been created or saved by the economic recovery package, but the Congressional Budget Office believes it has a more comprehensive tally. The CBO’s analysis, I suspect, will be welcome news in the West Wing.

The Congressional Budget Office late Monday said it estimates that the federal stimulus package sustained between 600,000 and 1.6 million jobs in the third quarter, and raised gross domestic product by 1.2 to 3.2 percentage points higher than it would have been without the program.

The CBO said the figures were estimates made “using evidence about how previous similar policies have affected the economy and various mathematical models that represent the workings of the economy.”

There’s obviously a big difference between 600,000 and 1.6 million — a million jobs, to be exact — but either way, the CBO results bolster the administration’s argument. The recovery efforts have created jobs, generated economic growth, and prevented unemployment from becoming much worse.

What’s more, as Ryan Grim noted, the CBO count “could be a tremendous underestimate,” because its analysis “doesn’t take into account the possibility that the economy might have fallen off a cliff if the stimulus hadn’t been passed, with world markets panicking and employers continuing to eliminate jobs at an eye-popping pace.”

Update: The House Committee on Education & Labor added, “The report also reinforces that the estimates only capture jobs created by direct spending — they do not measure the ‘spillover effect’ of jobs created or saved indirectly due to higher incomes or increased demand for goods and services.”

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.