Source: The Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington, Va.
Federal investments in highways and transit systems are expected to decline by more than $15 billion in 2010 compared to this year, according to an AGC analysis of transportation spending. The estimated 19.3 percent drop in federal formula and stimulus funding for transportation projects is likely to force more than 430,000 layoffs throughout the economy, the association predicted. The message of job loss is especially poignant as President Obama today (Dec. 3) holds a national Jobs Summit, a meeting of chief executives, union leaders and lawmakers to discuss job creation.
According to AGC, the federal government invested $78.6 billion in road and transit construction projects in 2009, including $51 billion in regular federal transportation funding and $27.6 billion in stimulus funding. The stimulus funds represent 74 percent of the total amount of transportation funds included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) earlier this year. In 2010, however, federal funding for highway and transit construction will only total $63.4 billion, $9.8 billion of which will come from the remaining stimulus transportation funds, and the rest from regular transportation funding.
To underscore the idea of job preservation and creation, the 28 national associations and labor groups of the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) launched a multimedia ad campaign--including radio spots, print ads and internet videos--calling on Congress and the Obama administration to create thousands of long-term, sustainable jobs by passing a new six-year highway/transit authorization bill.
Non-stimulus federal transportation funds are stuck at near-current levels because Congress has failed to pass a six-year surface transportation bill to replace the Safe, Accountable, Flexible Transportation Equity ActÒA Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) legislation that expired at the end of September. As a result, transportation funding is at levels well below what multiple, independent, bipartisan commissions estimate are needed to keep pace with the nation's transportation infrastructure needs.