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Report Details the Role of Infrastructure Jobs in the U.S. Economy

A new report from the Brookings Institute examines the details employment in infrastructure jobs in the United States—as well as making a case that infrastructure jobs can address ongoing concerns in the economy.
May 27, 2014, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Earlier this month, the Brookings Institute released Beyond Shovel-Ready: The Extent and Impact of U.S. Infrastructure Jobs, which examines the role of infrastructure jobs in the U.S. economy. The report finds that in 2012 infrastructure jobs employed 14.2 million workers or 11 percent of national employment.

The report includes a break down of infrastructure employment for the 100 largest metros in the country (see section 2 of the report). A common theme in the report is that most infrastructure jobs are devoted to operations rather than construction. "Across all infrastructure occupations, 77 percent of workers are primarily concerned with operation versus 15 percent with construction, 6 percent with design, and fewer than than [sic] 2 percent with governance."

Later, the report argues that the infrastructure sector is uniquely suited to address low rates of unemployment in both the short and long term. For instance, from section 6 of the report: "Too often, calls for infrastructure investment only focus on the jobs involved at the beginning of a project’s lifecycle. Policymakers need to view the costs and benefits of designing, constructing, operating, and governing infrastructure over several decades, which necessarily involves millions of workers."

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Published on Friday, May 9, 2014 in Brookings Institution
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