The facts behind infrastructure investments:
- The unemployment rate for the construction industry is above 17 percent. That's higher than any other sector and nearly double the national unemployment rate of 9.7%.
- Workers throughout the construction sector have lost 1.4 million jobs since the start of the recession.
- The construction and manufacturing sectors together accounted for more than half of all job losses in August. Recovery in these two pivotal sectors is critical to the nation's overall economic recovery.
- Spending on construction equipment is projected to fall by over 50 percent compared its peak in 2006.
- The economic output of the equipment industry – which includes manufacturing, distribution and repair stations – will contract by nearly 40 percent and result in the loss of approximately 550,000 jobs. Put another way, two out of every 25 jobs lost since the beginning of 2008 can be traced to the downturn in construction equipment spending.
- In 2008, the construction equipment industry contributed $243.3 billion in U.S. economic output and supported nearly 1.25 million jobs. Restoring growth and vitality to the struggling construction equipment industry is pivotal the nation's overall economic recovery.
- Commuters in major metropolitan areas waste 4.2 billion hours annually stuck in traffic – costing at least $87 billion each year in lost productivity and wasted fuel.
- At least 33 percent of our nation's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition and 26 percent of bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
- More than half of all highway fatalities – 22,000 deaths annually – are related to deficient roadway conditions.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the current backlog of unfunded but needed road, highway and bridge repairs would cost $495 billion.
- A blue-ribbon commission appointed by Congress to study America's transportation policy found that Congress would need to fund the federal highway program at levels between $65 billion and $100 billion annually to improve the system and address serious needs. Currently, federal highway funding is less than $40 billion per year – or two-thirds what it should be.
- The U.S. currently spends less than four percent of its entire domestic budget on infrastructure. In a comparison of recent stimulus packages, for example, countries like China invested 63 percent more in infrastructure.
- Each $1 billion of federal highway investment creates approximately 35,000 jobs.
- The reauthorization bill proposed by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee would create or sustain approximately six million family-wage jobs in the U.S. while improving our nation's infrastructure and laying the foundation for future economic growth.
- Research by University of Maryland professor Peter Morici indicates that each $100 invested in needed infrastructure projects boosts the economy by $350 during the 10 years following project completion. In contrast, $100 given directly to a consumer as stimulus will return only $125 in economic benefits.
- 6.4 cents of every dollar spent on highway construction is makes its way into the hands of equipment dealers and manufacturers. Given that the Surface Transportation Authorization Act is supposed to have $337 billion for highway spending over six years, the market impact on the equipment industry would be $21.6 billion over that time period.