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News from EPI Restore the American Dream for the 99% Act would create 2.3 million jobs in 2012, 3.1 million in 2013

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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, news@epi.org 202-775-8810

Restore the American Dream for the 99% Act would create 2.3 million jobs in 2012, 3.1 million in 2013

The Restore the American Dream for the 99% Act, a package of job-creation measures and fiscal policy reforms introduced by Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep. Raúl Grijalva, would significantly boost employment in the short term, a new Economic Policy Institute (EPI) Issue Brief finds. The Issue Brief, The Restore the American Dream for the 99% Act: An Analysis of Job-Creation Provisions by Andrew Fieldhouse and Rebecca Thiess, finds that if enacted, the legislation would create almost 2.3 million jobs in 2012 and nearly 3.1 million jobs in 2013.

“The components of the Act for the 99% target the primary cause of the high unemployment and rising poverty in the U.S.—a massive, persistent slump in demand,” said co-author Andrew Fieldhouse. “By addressing the root of the country’s economic problems, the act would produce measurable declines in joblessness.”

The Issue Brief examines key elements of the legislation, which includes previously introduced bills. It finds:

• Enacting the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) would boost employment by approximately 1.1 million jobs in each of fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

• Continuing the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program would boost employment by roughly 323,000 jobs in fiscal 2012 and 185,000 jobs in fiscal 2013.

• Reinstating the Making Work Pay tax credit for 2012 and 2013 would boost employment by 409,000 in fiscal 2012 and 532,000 jobs in fiscal 2013.

• Reinstating the higher Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) used to determine federal reimbursement for state Medicaid programs would boost employment by 349,000 jobs in fiscal 2012.

• Increasing federal surface transportation investments by $50 billion in the next decade would increase employment by 47,000 jobs in fiscal 2012 and 112,000 jobs in fiscal 2013. Even greater employment gains would be achieved in later years.

• Defusing the automatic spending cuts currently scheduled under the Budget Control Act would boost employment by more than 1.1 million jobs in fiscal 2013.

“The Act for the 99% contains policies that provide a particularly high bang for the buck—investments in infrastructure projects, emergency unemployment benefits and state fiscal support are some of the most effective tools policymakers have to boost employment,” said co-author Rebecca Thiess.