Stimulus is Out There, But Construction Jobs Slow to Follow

Despite some accusations that the federal stimulus funding has not been filtering down to actual transportation projects, work is being done. But the influx of money hasn't been able to revive a flagging construction industry.
September 16, 2010, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"In the past 18 months, Obama's Department of Transportation has committed $38.6 billion to more than 14,600 projects, and the vast majority of them are under way. About 70% of the money is going to highways; the rest is mostly for subways, buses, light rail and other transit projects, plus more than a billion dollars for Amtrak and a similar amount for airports. None of it is going to earmarked projects, and while the impact is not always obvious - most states chose not to erect signs touting the stimulus at construction sites - the work has directly supported an average of 45,800 jobs over the past year, and much more than that over Obama's mocked 'Recovery Summer.' Those jobs, the White House likes to point out, would all disappear if the GOP fulfilled its pledge to cancel the rest of the stimulus."

But as Time reports, the construction industry is still struggling. There is more than 17% unemployment in that sector. Officials argue that it's difficult to get transportation projects started quickly.

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Published on Monday, September 13, 2010 in Time
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