1,035,000: Construction Jobs Lost Under Obama

Terence P. Jeffrey | October 5, 2012 | 10:35am EDT
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President Barack Obama speaking at the groundbreaking for a stimulus road-building project in Columbus, Ohio on June 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) - When President Barack Obama signed his economic stimulus legislation on Feb. 17, 2009, he said that one impact of the act would be to create jobs for 400,000 people building and rebuilding the nation's infrastructure.

But despite a price tag that the Congressional Budget Office now says was $833 billion, the economic stimulus of February 2009 did not create 400,000 new construction jobs.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are now 1,035,000 fewer construction jobs in the United States than there were in January 2009, when Obama was inaugurated, and 925,000 less than in February 2009 when Obama signed his stimulus act.

The decline in construction jobs in the United States did not start when President Obama took office, but the $833 billion stimulus act he pushed through Congress and signed did not stop or reverse that decline.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research--on which Obama's former top economic adviser Christina Romer serves--says that the last recession ended in June 2009. Since then, according to BLS, America has lost 484,000 construction jobs.

In September 2012, according to BLS, 5,523,000 Americans had jobs in the construction industry. That is down from 6,558,000 in January 2009, when Obama took office; it is down from6,448,000 in February 2009, when Obama signed the $833 billion stimulus; it is down from 6,007,000 when the recession ended in June 2009; and it is down from 5,564,000 from January of this year, when Obama started the fourth year of his presidential term.

When Obama signed the stimulus, he said it would put 400,000 to work rebuilding and expanding infrastructure.

"Because we know we can't build our economic future on the transportation and information networks of the past, we are remaking the American landscape with the largest new investment in our nation's infrastructure since Eisenhower built an Interstate Highway System in the 1950s," Obama told a crowd in Denver, Colo., where he signed the bill.

"Because of this investment," he said, "nearly 400,000 men and women will go to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, repairing our faulty dams and levees, bringing critical broadband connections to businesses and homes in nearly every community in America, upgrading mass transit, building high-speed rail lines that will improve travel and commerce throughout our nation."

Construction jobs in the United States started declining before Obama entered office, having peaked at 7,726,000 in April 2006. By January 2009, when Obama was inaugurated, that had declined by 1,168,000 to 6,558,000. Since then, as noted, it has declined an additional 1,035,000 to the current level of 5,523,000.

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