Since the recession began in December 2007, the nation has lost more than 3.6 million jobs, with 50 percent of those losses occurring within the last three months, and the national unemployment rate has skyrocketed to 7.6 percent. Without swift action, economists estimate that an additional five million job losses could occur this year and the unemployment rate could rise to 10 percent. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will make investments and offer tax cuts to help spur job growth and ultimately create or save three 3.5 million jobs. The plan will also invest in programs to help unemployed Americans find good-paying jobs and will offer assistance to help them make ends meet until they do.
Infrastructure.The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will invest billions in physical and cyber infrastructure projects to create jobs quickly and establish a strong foundation for the future success of our national economy.
· Transportation infrastructure. The economic recovery plan will invest in shovel-ready, significant-impact projects that build and repair the nation’s highways, roads, and bridges. The package will also invest in mass transit, aviation, and rail transportation systems. It is estimated that for highway investments alone, $1 billion in investments will support approximately 27,800 jobs. Transportation infrastructure investments, however, do more than create jobs, they promote local economic growth by reducing delays for individuals and businesses and lower maintenance costs for states and localities.
· Federal infrastructure. Federal properties and projects exist in nearly every city in the United States. Construction and repairs of these properties and support for these projects will generate jobs and foster business growth in the local economy. The economic recovery plan includes funding for vital military construction projects, such as family and troop housing, child care centers, and health clinics. According to estimates, these investments will create or sustain more than 85,000 jobs in the private sector. The package also includes billions for VA hospital and medical facility construction and improvements, which are estimated to create more than 100,000 jobs. The plan includes billions for Army Corp of Engineers projects, which will directly or indirectly create nearly 140,000 jobs. Further, the recovery package invests billions in homeland security construction, including airport, border, bridge and tunnel security, and fire station construction.
· Housing infrastructure. The economic recovery plan will invest in programs that build, repair, and "green" public housing units. In doing so, the plan meets the critical needs of lower-income communities: job opportunities, safe and affordable housing, stabilization of surrounding home values, and community redevelopment.
· Broadband infrastructure. The recovery plan will provide competitive grant funding to expand broadband access in unserved and underserved communities, which will expand educational, employment, and business opportunities and make American more competitive in the 21st Century.
· Environmental infrastructure. The economic recovery plan includes billions for environmental clean-up projects, which will create thousands of private sector jobs as they reduce environmental hazards.
Energy. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will invest billions in energy innovation, including the development of clean, efficient, alternative, and renewable energy, in an effort make America more environmentally responsible and economically competitive in the future. It is estimated that these investments will generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs across the United States, produce billions in energy and non-energy related benefits long-term, and lower energy costs for American families.
Job training.The economic recovery plan will invest in job training and assistance programs to ensure American workers have access to and the necessary skills to perform newly created jobs, especially high-growth an emerging industries, like green jobs. The plan will provide billions in job training grants for adults, dislocated workers, and youth programs to help un- and under-employed Americans find work. Additionally, employment services grants will match unemployed individuals to job openings through state employment services agencies and provide customized re-employment services. Job training investments provide not only improved employment opportunities for individuals in the short-term, but will lead to long-term economic competitiveness for the United States.
The plan also provides tax incentives for businesses that hire Americans in need by expanding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to include unemployed veterans and disconnected youth.