Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa called on Congress to stress road and bridge repair and public transit expansion in the next federal highway bill
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa called on Congress to stress road and bridge repair and public transit expansion in the next federal highway bill.
Hoffa cited an Economic Policy Institute study that indicates building public transportation, including rail, generates 31% more jobs than new construction of roads and bridges. The study also concluded that road and bridge repair work creates 16% more jobs than new construction of roads and bridges.
EPI's study, "The job impact of transportation reauthorization," analyzed a funding proposal by Transportation for America that emphasized maintenance and retrofits of existing infrastructure and adequate public transportation. Transportation for America is a transportation-reform coalition that advocates sufficient funds for new highway capacity along with money for repairs and public transit, which are more labor-intensive parts of the transportation system.
"This study shows why America needs a new direction in our transportation policy," says Hoffa. "Cleaner and smarter transportation investments will create millions of good-paying quality jobs and put our nation on a path to a lasting economic recovery."
According to EPI, the Transportation for America proposal would yield 400,000 more jobs over six years than the current mix of transportation spending. The EPI study found that a proposed $500 billion transportation bill could support more than 7.2 million jobs.
Most of those jobs, EPI concluded, would help people hardest hit by the economic recession. Eight in 10 of the jobs would be filled by people without a four-year college degree. A higher percentage of union jobs would also be created: 15% versus 12% in the overall economy.