U.S transit projects yield more construction jobs than new roads, report says

February 07, 2011 02:37PM

The battered U.S. construction industry has been shedding jobs with little reprieve since the recession, so a new report on which building projects yield the most construction jobs is food for thought on how economic stimulus dollars might be used more efficiently in the future. Smart Growth America, a community-building advocacy organization, analyzed state data on the infrastructure projects funded by the federal stimulus, and concludes in its new “Lessons from the Stimulus” report that transit and road maintenance projects trump new road construction in terms of producing jobs (see the full report below). For every stimulus dollar spent on transportation, there were 70 percent more hours of employment produced than a dollar spent on building a new road, the report says. But as it turns out, states spent relatively little — $462.8 million, nationwide — on transportation, compared to the $8.9 billion they spent on new roads. States “spent more than a third of the money on building new roads — rather than working on public transportation and fixing up existing roads and bridges,” the report scolds. “The result of the indiscriminate spending? States missed out on potentially thousands of new jobs — and bridges, roads, and overpasses around the country are still crumbling.” TRD