Not much stimulus from highway spending

Look, I think that the whole language here is flawed because it ignores that money is merely being moved from one place to another. Jobs are being lost where the money is being taken from and the moving around of money is increasing unemployment. That said, it is still interesting to see the gap between what was promised and what is being delivered. From the LA Times:

In February, when Congress approved President Obama's mammoth plan to stimulate the economy, transportation projects were supposed to be among the fastest-acting pieces of the $787-billion package.

All 50 states moved quickly to qualify for their share of the money. But since then the pace has slowed considerably, particularly in California and Florida, where the effect of the economic crisis has been especially severe.

As of July 10, more than 3,600 of the 5,600 road projects approved by Washington -- including six of the 10 largest approved projects -- had not been given the green light to start construction.

"What we're seeing is a significant level of bidding activity," said Anne Lloyd, chief financial officer at Martin Marietta Materials, a nationwide supplier of stone, asphalt and other construction supplies. "But the big thing we're not seeing is work on the ground."

The reasons are many. One is the time needed to get heavy equipment and crews ready for jobs. Also, overburdened state officials have sometimes had trouble sustaining the early momentum.

Even where projects have begun, they haven't always brought with them as big a burst of hiring as might be expected. . . . .



Blogger Harry Schell said...

How much of the lag in stimulus projects in construction are there because 84% of the construction workforce (the non-union part) are enjoined from bidding on the work?

7/20/2009 4:25 PM  

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