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Transportation for America proposal creates more jobs than current transportation law, Economic Policy Institute finds

What if we could re-design our nation’s transportation policy to increase travel options, reduce oil dependency and create more jobs? According to an Economic Policy Institute study, we could do just that if Congress adopts Transportation for America’s proposal for the next surface transportation law.

The economy is showing some signs of growth, but that’s little encouragement for the millions of Americans without a job – the unemployment rate nationwide is still a notch below 10 percent. It is difficult to see how America’s economy can grow and recover without sustained job creation.

EPI ran the numbers and found that T4 America’s proposed $500 billion transportation bill would support 400,000 more jobs than would be created by continuing SAFETEA-LU, the existing transportation law, at that same $500 billion level. The T4 America proposal would support more than 7.2 million jobs.

T4 America’s proposal is an effective and swift job creator because it calls for investment in some of the more labor-intensive areas of transportation, such as repair and maintenance of existing infrastructure and public transportation, all reliable job creators. Many highway expansion projects take longer to move because they require permits and spend a larger percentage of funds on land acquisition rather than labor. As a result, many of these projects also end up employing less people.

Adopting T4’s plan would give a leg up to the Americans hardest hit by the economic downturn, especially low-wage workers and Americans who did not go to college. In fact, 80 percent of the new jobs created would be filled by Americans without a four-year degree. And the proposal is also a good deal for the working men and women of organized labor – 15 percent of the jobs created would be union jobs, compared to just 12 percent of the jobs in the overall economy.

And these are not just jobs for jobs sake – T4’s plan puts people to work building the transportation system we need for the 21st century, an all-of-the-above approach that rebuilds and maintains roads and bridges, expands travel options, implements real accountability for how we spend precious taxpayer dollars and ensures America’s small towns and rural areas take part in our economic recovery as well.

We need strong infrastructure to achieve steady growth and opportunity in the decades to come.

The ability of T4 America’s proposal to create good-paying jobs and promote economic growth has won our coalition broad support. Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, a T4 partner, praised the proposal as “an important and timely message for Congress” and “critical to economic development not only in metro Atlanta but across the country.” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa says the kind of investment in clean transportation advocated by T4 America “will create millions of good paying quality jobs and put our nation on a path to a lasting economic recovery.”

You can read the full report here, or check out T4 America’s release and fact sheet.

No Comments

  1. Michael Taylor

    14 years ago

    This bill sounds great, but what about publis transportation which is need to get people to work schools, doctors. Public transportation has been cut all across the nation hitting working familys and the ablility for people to get out and look for jobs or make to the jobs they’ve found where is the concern about that while were talking about transportation dollors. We can build all the road we want but there is a large segment of america that dont rely on cars for transportation, Lets not forget about them.