Economic Stimulus Needs to be More Than "Big Digs"

The image of tens of thousands of people being put to work on massive public works projects may be a thing of the past, some economists argue.
January 15, 2009, 1pm PST | Michael Dudley
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"While infrastructure spending is a great way to prop up economic activity, many economists don't see it doing much for job growth. The knocks against infrastructure are that it is not as labour-intensive as it used to be, tends to employ many more men than women and, these days, requires skills in engineering, technology and architecture that are already in short supply, critics say.

Just about everyone agrees Canada badly needs an infrastructure overhaul - and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty promised to boost such spending in his Jan. 27 budget. South of the border, president-elect Barack Obama hopes to create three to four million new jobs, partly through infrastructure spending.

Labour experts are proposing a range of other options, from converting traditional factories to green manufacturing as global demand grows, to spending on retraining and education."

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Published on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 in The Globe and Mail
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