Friday, January 30, 2009

What will the stimulus package do for your business?

The House passed an $819 billion stimulus package, 244-188, Jan. 28. The stimulus is expected to create as many as 3 million to 4 million new jobs nationwide, according to a Jan. 29 article. Construction workers, contractors and union officials across the country are hoping that the money set aside in the bill for building roads, bridges, schools and more will create jobs, according to a Jan. 30 article in The Washington Post.

The plan comes at a time when the percentage of the workforce receiving unemployment has reached a 25-year high, according to a Jan. 29 AP article in The New York Times. The construction industry has suffered its worst job losses in more than two decades, with 900,000 workers across the country unemployed, according to the Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington. And it could get worse. The trade group lobbied the Obama administration and Congress with 10,000 letters from its members, and expects most of its 33,000 member companies to lay off more workers, according to The Post article.

The stimulus plan, which sets aside about $150 billion for construction projects, would create or save more than 660,000 construction jobs, according to the AGC, of which about 13,300 could be in the D.C. region, according to The Post article.

The package is expected to give $638 million to the District, $1.23 billion to Maryland and $1.65 billion to Virginia for construction-related projects, according to the Post article. Illinois would get $1.8 billion for infrastructure, according to the article.

Parts of the country have already started to see an uptick in construction. Other parts--such as Las Vegas, which experienced a major construction bust in the $3 billion Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino, the Crown Las Vegas, the Pinnacle Las Vegas, the Plaza Las Vegas and more--could follow suit.

What is your take on the effect of the stimulus package on “shovel-ready projects”? How will it influence your business and how soon?

By Sahely Mukerji, news editor/managing editor, Glass Magazine


Terry Newcomb, Thermal Windows, Inc. said...

The package will probably send business our way. Good. Unfortunately, the bill is packed with useless pork that won't create enough jobs.
Regarding the "3 to 4 million jobs" it will create, since we are losing 500,000 jobs per month now (see this Friday's employment report), that means a year's worth of job losses will total about 6 million.
So, we spend $825 BILLION to end up 2 to 3 million jobs short.

Sahely Mukerji said...

Interesting point, and thank your for writing, Terry. Appreciate your time. What would you do differently to solve this mess? How much would you spend, and where, to create jobs?

Terry Newcomb, Thermal Windows, Inc. said...

Consider the solidarity of the Republicans voting against the House Stimulus bill, then the resistance of the Senate GOP members to it. Those folks represent a vast constituency that includes me. We are for responsible, limited government. The stimulus bill is a huge step in the wrong direction.
The way you worded your question emphasises my point, "How much would you spend, and where, to create jobs?" The better question to ask is, "What government subsidies and waste would you eliminate, and how soon would you reduce payroll taxes to allow Americans to spend and yes, SAVE their money without it having to travel through the grossly inefficient and wasteful U.S. government?"
This is not the viewpoint of an outspoken minority. Last November, 46% of the country said "no" to Barack Obama.