How Construction Can Lead Economic Recovery
Originally published by: American Institute of Architects — September 2, 2011
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The policy document, “The Built Environment’s Role in the Recovery,” is being issued on the eve of President Obama’s major jobs initiative to be unveiled next Thursday in a speech before a Joint Session of Congress. The AIA white paper was delivered this week to the White House and to Congressional leadership on both sides of the political aisle.
The report notes that the value of construction put in place each year equals between six and nine percent of annual Gross Domestic Product. Each $1 million in new construction spending supports 28.5 full-time, year-round-equivalent jobs, according to a study by George Mason University economist Stephen J. Fuller. Yet, despite record low interest rates, a financing crunch still persists in this sector, severely limiting job creation.
“We’re putting these recommendations forward now because it’s time for the Administration and Congress to get real about creating an environment in which people are willing to lend and borrow,” said AIA President Clark Manus, FAIA. “When credit flows to worthy projects, it unleashes the job creation potential of the American economy.”
“It’s also important to realize that infrastructure is more than roads and bridges,” Manus said. “The American people need to let their politicians know that the built environment is where the most potential exists to grow the economy.”
The six steps outlined in the policy document are: