Few people fully grasp the size and scope of America’s transportation infrastructure or the economic impact of the U.S. transportation construction industry. The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) is setting out to change that during 2012 National Transportation Week, held May 13-19.
ARTBA, which is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year, released the following “fast facts” about the nation’s transportation infrastructure contained in a landmark economic profile authored by Dr. Alison Premo Black, the association’s chief economist.
Annual output value – The annual value of transportation construction in the U.S. surpassed $120 billion in 2010. To put this in context, it exceeds the output value of the following U.S. industry sectors: auto repair and maintenance ($116.8 billion); advertising ($106.9 billion); farming ($97.5 billion); motion pictures ($82.7 billion); aircraft manufacturing ($82.4 billion); and coal mining ($29.8 billion), to name a few.
Annual contribution to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) – As the money invested in transportation construction industry employment and purchases moves through the economy, it generates over $380 billion in total annual economic activity for the nation – nearly 3 percent of the U.S. GDP.
Creating and sustaining jobs – Transportation construction in the U.S. supports the equivalent 3.4 million full-time jobs. This includes 1,685,000 direct jobs in transportation construction and related activities and 1,698,000 jobs induced, or sustained, by transportation construction industry employee, firm and agency spending throughout the economy.
Dependent employment – Nearly 80 million American jobs in just tourism, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, agriculture and forestry, general construction, mining, retailing and wholesaling alone are dependent on the work done by the U.S. transportation construction industry. These dependent industries provide a total payroll in excess of $2.8 trillion and their employees contribute more than $233 billion annually in state and federal payroll taxes.
A dynamic national transportation network
ARTBA members have built, designed and continue to manage an intermodal infrastructure network that includes:
- 4,048,525 million center line miles of public roadways and bridges, including 46,934 miles of Interstate highway.
- 603,250 bridges.
- 171,500 miles of track operated by freight railroads.
- More than 13,700 civil and joint use airports; 12,000 miles of inland and intercoastal commercial waterways; and 8,100 miles of subway and urban rail commuter track.
Providing access to jobs, shopping, recreation and family activities
The U.S. transportation infrastructure network provides all Americans with unprecedented access and mobility. Each year, the nation’s roads and highways handle more than 5 trillion highway passenger miles of travel. Light, heavy and commuter rail systems facilitate over 9.9 billion unlinked passenger trips annually.
Accommodating business shipments
The U.S. transportation infrastructure network makes possible the shipment each year of over 16.4 million tons of goods and materials between American companies, or companies and their customers. This freight has a value of $14.4 trillion. More than 77 percent of this value is shipped via trucks.
Learn more at www.transportationcreatesjobs.org.