Press Releases | Budget Taxes and Public Investment

News from EPI Transportation proposal would create more jobs than existing transportation policy

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 24th, 2010
Karen Conner or Eve Turow, 202-775-8810

The transportation policy proposed by Transportation for America (T4A), a coalition of transportation, housing, business and environmental organizations, would create more jobs than the current federal transportation policy, an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute finds.

At T4A’s request, EPI compared the $500-billion T4A proposal with the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). SAFETEA-LU expired in September 2009, and Congress has extended it on a short-term basis several times since as it works to develop a reauthorization bill. EPI’s analysis, The job impact of transportation reauthorization, finds that the T4A proposal would support 14,400 direct and indirect jobs for each billion dollars of transportation investment, compared to the SAFETEA-LU baseline of 13,700 jobs per billion dollars.

The T4A proposal creates more jobs in large part because it calls for investments in more labor-intensive sectors of the economy, including repair and maintenance of the existing transportation system and public transportation.

Both policies would disproportionately benefit those hit hardest by the recession: low-wage workers, workers without a four-year college degree and African American and Hispanic workers. Over 80 percent of the jobs created by both SAFETEA-LU and the T4A proposals would be filled by workers without a college degree (compared to economy-wide average of 72 percent). Both proposals would also create a higher proportion of unionized jobs than in the general economy, though the T4A proposal would create more union jobs than SAFETEA-LU.