A recent post on Constructech.com ("The Jobs Proposal Will Impact Construction") discusses how the American Jobs Act proposed by the Obama Administration could, in fact, serve as a second round of stimulus for the construction industry. Its author comments: "the new jobs plans could address many challenges in the construction industry today such as creating more employment opportunities and providing more funding to state governments."
While acknowledging the ongoing debate over the effectiveness of the American Reconstruction and Recovery Act (ARRA), the writer glosses over one of the biggest reasons behind it - it didn't go far enough. The ARRA failed on several levels because funding levels for construction were woefully inadequate to alleviate the steady decline in the quality of our infrastructure systems and stem the bleeding in construction employment.
The proposed funding levels for infrastructure in the American Jobs Act are, once again, mere drops in the bucket in terms of what is needed. And the levels are woefully inadequate in terms of what is required to positively impact construction unemployment levels.
Obviously, the industry will take what it can get. But at some point, Congress must work to get past its political gamesmanship in order to pass meaningful funding legislation for the federal highway and aviation programs. It's hard to hail the success of yet another extension when so many lives and livelihoods are at stake.