The Build Back Better Act will support 2.3 million jobs per year in its first five years

The Build Back Better Act, while still not a done deal, now has a path toward passage in the House of Representatives, with a vote expected mid-November. The political wrangling to reach this moment has been tortuous. But the promise of the pending bill that could transform millions of lives—with meaningful investments in child care, long-term care, and universal pre-K, among others—is critical for a thriving modern economy that will boost productivity and deliver relief to strained family budgets.

Here, we update a previous analysis to reflect the latest state of the legislation and assess its potential impact on U.S. labor markets. Overall, we estimate that the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) will provide support for 2.3 million jobs per year in its first five years, shown in detail in Table 1, below. Add to this an estimated 772,000 jobs per year supported by the bipartisan infrastructure deal, also referred to as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed last Friday in the House, and you get more than 3 million jobs supported per year.

With the U.S. economy still running at least 5.5 million jobs short relative to its pre-pandemic trajectory, sustained support for job creation is a key benefit of the plan, but the economic impact will be much farther reaching. For example, roughly half of the jobs supported by BBBA result from new and expanded caregiving initiatives for universal pre-K (332,000 jobs per year), child care (574,000), and long-term care (238,000). Good jobs in these industries—where workers are deeply undervalued and underpaid—are just the tip of the iceberg that will also help get more parents back into the workforce and relieve the exorbitant financial burdens of child care and long-term care weighing on working families.

As 17 Nobel Prize winners in economics recently highlighted, BBBA is a supply-side economic plan that enables more working-age people to participate productively in the U.S. economy and invests in the long-term achievement of younger generations. Such policies provide a countervailing force against current inflationary pressures and provide insurance against the economic recovery faltering under too little policy support—a costly mistake made during the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

With the plan fully paid for, transforming the U.S. economy to be more equitable, efficient, sustainable, and prosperous should be a no-brainer. Yet there is still more work to be done to meet all of America’s pressing social and economic challenges, and more fiscal policy space available for Congress to pursue those goals.

Table 1

Jobs supported by the Build Back Better Act, average per year over 5 years

BBBA Policy Jobs
Universal pre-k  332,000 
Child care  574,000 
Clean energy tax incentives   76,000 
EV rebates  20,000 
Ag/forestry  32,000 
Clean energy accelerator/green bank/infrastructure bank  4,000 
CCC  3,000 
Federal procurement of clean tech  9,000 
Weatherization  4,000 
Place-based Clean Energy Economic Development and Environment  4,000 
Education (post-secondary)  39,000 
Long-term care  238,000 
 ACA Premiums  114,000 
Dental, vision, hearing  27,000 
Public housing, preservation, supply, and affordability  90,000 
LPRs for Immigrants  74,000 
Community college infrastructure  3,000 
Critical Supply Chain Resilience Fund  13,000 
Manufacturing USA  1,000 
NIST Labs  1,000 
Extension Partnerships  2,000 
Regional Innovation Hubs  3,000 
Community Revitalization Fund  6,000 
Auto supply chain  7,000 
Manufacturing financing  5,000 
SBA + Minority business development  18,000 
Rural Partnership Fund  3,000 
Pandemic preparedness – HHS, DOE, DOD  12,000 
Research and development  64,000 
Workforce  10,000 
Child nutrition  54,000 
Paid leave  144,000 
CTC/EITC  301,000 
Total  2,290,000 

Notes: Estimates are rounded to the nearest 1,000 jobs. Research and development includes programs for infrastructure development, the National Science Foundation Technology Directorate, climate research, Department of Energy demonstrating funding, ARPA-Climate initiatives, historically Black colleges and universities, and STEM centers of excellence and education programs. Pandemic preparedness includes designated funding for the Departments of Health and Human Services, Energy, and Defense. CTC/EITC denotes Child Tax Credit/Earned Income Tax Credit.

Source: EPI analysis of White House and Joint Committee on Taxation data.

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