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Report Connects Transportation Spending To Economy


A new report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association says that money invested this year in transportation construction industry employment and purchases will generate over $380 billion in U.S. economic activity

A new report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association says that money invested this year in transportation construction industry employment and purchases will generate over $380 billion in U.S. economic activityónearly 3% of the nationís gross domestic product. Thatís larger than the annual GDP of 160 nations ranked by the International Monetary Fund, including oil-rich Saudi Arabia ($370 billion) and Kuwait ($111 billion).

The report shows the annual value of domestic transportation construction will surpass $120 billion this year. This ranks it larger than industry sectors like auto repair and maintenance ($116.8 billion), farming ($97.5 billion) and coal mining ($29.8 billion).

Alison Premo Black, ARTBA senior economist and the reportís author, found transportation construction supports 3.4 million American jobsó1.7 million directly involved in construction and related activities and 1.7 million jobs sustained by transportation construction industry employee, firm and agency spending throughout the economy.
She cautioned that thousands of these jobs could be in jeopardy if Congress fails to take action soon on a multi-year surface transportation bill.

Using Census Bureau ìCounty Business Patternsî data and the Commerce Departmentís Regional Input?Output Modeling System (RIMS II), Premo Black found the transportation construction industryís largest economic impact in California, where it generates or sustains more than 354,000 jobs. California is followed by New York (286,449), Texas (276,276), Florida (196,087), Pennsylvania (148,669), Illinois (129,014), Georgia (106,658), Ohio (104,310), Washington (100,384) and New Jersey (97,036).

Premo Black says transportation construction activity generates $159.3 billion annually in direct and induced wages. These workers, she says, will contribute an estimated $13.1 billion in federal and state payroll taxes this year.

Yet, Premo Black points out, ìWhat is often overlooked is that the work the transportation construction industry performs results in the nationís longest-lived capital assets. And transportation infrastructure makes all kinds of other economic activity possible. Tourism, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, agriculture, forestry, general construction, mining, retailing and wholesaling are all wholly dependent on the work done by the U.S. transportation construction industry. These, what I call dependent industries, employ nearly 80 million American, who collectively earn more than $2.8 trillion each year and pay over $233 billion in state and federal payroll taxes.î