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U.S. fiscal stimulus package could create or support two million jobs, economist says

Journal Of Commerce

A U.S. economist told congress that two million jobs will be created or supported by the proposed federal infrastructure and public building investments in the U.S., as a result of the economic slowdown and construction layoffs.

A U.S. economist told congress that two million jobs will be created or supported by the proposed federal infrastructure and public building investments in the U.S., as a result of the economic slowdown and construction layoffs.

Economist Stephen Fuller testified before Congress on Jan 22 on behalf of the Associated General Contractors of America.

The professor from George Mason University said that the current stimulus plan’s proposed infrastructure investments would create or support more than 1.85 million new jobs between now and the end of 2010.

Fuller said this total would include over 620,000 construction jobs, 300,000 jobs in supplying industries and 930,000 jobs throughout the broader economy.

“The sharp decline in construction employment and activity we have seen over the past two years means that the sector has plenty of capacity to quickly take on new projects,” Fuller told the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

“Two years ago these kinds of investments might have trickled out the door, but in today’s climate, they are going to flood out into the economy.”

Fuller explained that the new infrastructure investments would flow quickly due to statutory spending deadlines and the availability of unusually high number of companies and workers.

“The sums are far less than the available capacity of the construction industries, especially since the Act would spread investment across many types of structures,” he added.

“There is sufficient capacity to absorb the added demand.”

According to Fuller, the planned infrastructure funding would account for about 9 per cent of current construction funding nationwide at a time when construction output is down 14 percent.

In an effort to jump-start the economy, president Obama is proposing as much as $700 billion in new spending to create jobs by building highways, schools and renewable energy sources.

JOC News Service

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