Data Shows Economic Benefits of Infrastructure Stimulus Investments

Mon December 22, 2008 - National Edition
CEG



Personal earnings will increase by $1.1 billion and the national gross domestic product will increase by $3.4 billion for every billion dollars invested in new infrastructure projects according to new national and state-by-state data released Dec. 16 by the Associated General Contractors of America.

The comprehensive new data, which is based on new economic research conducted for the association as well as federal data and economic impact estimations, demonstrates the “unmistakable” benefit of including infrastructure investments as part of the stimulus package, the association’s chief executive officer Stephen Sandherr said.

“Investing in infrastructure will create jobs, will increase earnings and will stimulate economic growth,” said Sandherr. “As important, these investments will give our economy a global competitive edge for decades to come.”

According to the new data, for every billion invested in projects designed to improve highways, water systems, educational and health facilities and energy systems, more than 28,500 jobs will be created or saved nationwide. 9,700 of those jobs would be for construction related work. Another 4,600 would be for associated work, such as suppliers, while another 14,300 of those jobs would be added outside to the broader economy.

Sandherr, who was in Ohio to discuss the need for more infrastructure investments during a visit to a Columbus-area road project, noted that more than 770,000 construction workers have lost their jobs nationwide over the last two years. He added that in states like Ohio, the declines have lasted longer and hit harder, with 14 percent of construction workers out of a job since the beginning of the decade in the Buckeye state.

Sandherr said that the new data shows just how much infrastructure investments will boost economics. He said his organization was asking people who want to see Americans put back to work and money back into the economy to visit www.agc.org/letsbuild and show their support for infrastructure investments.

“The idea is simple, come this spring, we want construction projects with good paying jobs to be as common as the flowers,” Sandherr said.

For more information, visit www.agc.org/stimulus.