ASCE report: Failing to invest in transportation will cause job loss, shrink household incomes
“The cost to businesses will reduce the productivity and competitiveness of American firms relative to global competitors significantly,” said Steve Landau of the EDR Group. “By 2020, American families will take a pay cut of more than $7000 because of the ripple effects that will occur throughout the economy. Business will have to divert increasing portions of earned income to pay for transportation delays and vehicle repairs, draining money that would otherwise be invested in innovation and expansion.”
Families will have a lower standard of living
A lack of investment in transportation infrastructure would inflict a double whammy on American families who would see their household incomes fall by $60 a month by 2020, while having to spend $30 per month more for goods. The total cost to families would exact about $10,600 per family between now and 2020, equal to $1,060 per year on household budgets.
Modest investment needed
The report estimates that in order to bring the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure up to tolerable levels, policymakers would need to invest about $1.7 trillion between now and 2020 in the nation’s highways and transit systems. The U.S. is currently on track to spend a portion of that – $877 billion – during the same timeframe. The infrastructure funding gap equals $846 billion over 9 years or $94 billion per year.
Small investments in infrastructure, equal to about 60 percent of what Americans spend on fast food each year, would:
- Protect 1.1 million jobs
- Save Americans 180 million hours in travel time each year and
- Deliver an average of $1,060 to each family, and
- Protect $10,000 in GDP for every man, woman and child in the U.S.
This report confirms what we have known for some time: if we do not substantially invest in infrastructure soon, we will put our economy, American business and American working families at risk,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. “This report also shows what can be done – with a modest increase in investment, we can rebuild a strong economy where business can thrive and workers can afford a place to live, raise a family, take an occasional vacation, pay for their children’s education and have a dignified retirement,”
The report, the first of four scheduled by the Society, examined the country’s surface transportation infrastructure. Future reports will examine the state of the nation’s infrastructure as it relates to water and, wastewater delivery and treatment; energy transmission; and airports and marine ports.
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