President Barack Obama vowed in February 2009 that the economic stimulus legislation he was signing would create construction jobs for 400,000 people building and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.
But despite a price tag now estimated at $833 billion, there are 925,000 fewer construction jobs in the United States than in February 2009, and 1,035,000 fewer than when Obama was inaugurated, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
And there are even 484,000 fewer jobs than when the last recession officially ended in June 2009.
When Obama signed the stimulus bill in Denver, Colo., he told a crowd: “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.
“Because of this investment, 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.”
But in September 2012, according to the BLS, 5,523,000 Americans had jobs in the construction industry, down from 6,558,000 in January 2009, when Obama took office, and down from 6,448,000 in February 2009, when Obama signed the stimulus.
It is also down from 5,564,000 in January of this year, when Obama started the fourth year of his term.