President’s New Infrastructure Plan: Creating New 11 Million Jobs

President Donald Trump is proposing to spend up to $1 trillion in the next 10 years on infrastructure projects. It would be used to upgrade and support investments in various areas such as roads, bridges, airports, pipelines, telecommunications, or energy projects. According to some estimates, this could create more than 11 million jobs in the US. Which industries and jobs could benefit from this the most?

“Transforming America’s crumbling infrastructure” remains one of the top priorities for the new president, as mentioned during Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016. More information about the new infrastructure plan should be presented in the near future. According to the White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, the plan might not be ready until the fall. And everybody is eagerly awaiting further details in the meantime.

How Could the Plan Work:

The infrastructure plan would be financed through both private and public funding. While only $200 billion would come in the form of direct federal spending, the rest would be covered by private sector investments. However, when considering public-private funding, critics say that this model would not attract enough private investors to rural areas with lower revenue opportunities, when compared to toll highways in rich areas, such as Washington, DC, which are very attractive for investors. While all the financing options are still being considered, the plan might attract infrastructure investments through tax credits or tax-cut plans.

This Plan Would Create Jobs in These Areas:

  • Construction
  • Steel manufacturing
  • Telecommunications
  • Energy infrastructure
  • Clean water – water infrastructure
  • Veteran hospitals (added in March 2017)
  • Transportation

Jobs in Demand:

According to the recent study by Anthony P. Carnevale and Nicole Smith from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, this plan would be a great boost mostly for blue-collar workers. Even though it would be a temporary boom of employment, most of the jobs (55%) would go to high school graduates and dropouts. The rest (45%) of new jobs would require a college degree for positions such as civil engineers or construction managers. Almost 60% of the jobs would require less than six months training. Construction and extraction jobs are projected to employ 5.1 million employees. Transportation and material moving would add 3.6 million jobs. These jobs would be mostly filled by men (92%) according to the predictions, since majority of construction workers are men.

Challenges:

The infrastructure plan would affect mostly workers without a college degree and provide them with millions of new job opportunities. However, once the infrastructure boom is over, the challenge will be to prepare workers “for successful labor market transitions” and make them “transferable to the modern high-tech service-dominated economy”.

While exact details still remain unknown, this enormous spending could bring not only positive, but also negative side-effects, such as higher deficits or interest rates. Or, in order to reduce the federal deficit, the direct federal spending might be lower than announced. It will be also interesting to see the bipartisan support for rebuilding America’s infrastructure. But in the end, it will all depend on the future details of the plan.

To find out more about the Infrastructure Plan, read this Adecco article.

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