Brookings illuminates which states rely heaviest on infrastructure for employment as local policymakers are struggling with reliable federal funding throughout the peak of construction season.
According to a recent post by Joseph Kane and Robert Puentes for Brookings Institute, "policymakers at the state level, in particular, are grappling with a series of infrastructure challenges given the looming shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund." To pay for needed improvements, some in the final stages of construction, states have started raising their gas taxes, turning to private funding, or supporting transportation ballot measures.
Indeed as, "more than 14.2 million infrastructure jobs are at stake in these policy discussions—the majority of which last for years beyond construction—it’s easy to see why states are acting with a sense of urgency." Taking a closer look at some of the states, California and Texas combined have about 2.7 million infrastructure jobs, based on massive trade and logistics facilities.
Moreover, when assessing the share of infrastructure jobs from total employment, "several states exceed the national average (11.0 percent), led by Alaska (15.1 percent), Wyoming (14.8 percent), North Dakota (14.4 percent), Tennessee (13.3 percent), and Louisiana (13.2 percent)."
While it is unclear in what capacity federal policymakers will be able to support infrastructure in the future, states are beginning to tackle these issues locally. These efforts, according to Kane and Puentes, are, "investing in our most fundamental physical assets, [and] they’re keeping millions of workers on the job."
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