Biden Says With Infrastructure Bill U.S. May Add 19 Million Jobs

President Joe Biden said the sweeping infrastructure proposal he unveiled this week would result in 19 million jobs created over the next decade as the U.S. seeks to emerge from the pandemic.

“Independent analysis shows that if we pass this plan the economy will create 19 million jobs,” Biden said in remarks at the White House Friday. “Good jobs, blue collar jobs, jobs that pay well.”

The remarks were the first time the White House offered a guess at the employment impact of the president’s $2.25 trillion “American Jobs Plan,” unveiled Wednesday, which aims to update the country’s physical and technological infrastructure, and address longstanding economic inequities in the nation.

But the president’s phrasing also framed the potential impact in the rosiest possible terms. His claims were based on a report released this week from Moody’s Analytics, which found that the economy would add 18.9 million jobs over the next decade if Congress passed the president’s proposal.

But the report found that the U.S. would add 16.3 million jobs between natural job growth and the passage of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus legislation alone. That suggests that the president’s new infrastructure package alone would be responsible for around 2.6 million new jobs over 10 years.

The Moody’s analysis also found that the Biden plan would “marginally reduce growth” next year, as higher taxes on corporations to pay for the initiatives would take effect before the added infrastructure spending or projects take off. Still, the economy would shift toward added growth and jobs starting in 2023, and projected that Biden’s first term would see an increase of 11.4 million jobs without the infrastructure plan, or 13.5 million if he’s able to score another major legislative victory.

The proposal emphasizes new union jobs, and making it easier to unionize. It also aims to create employment through programs such as a new Civilian Climate Corps, construction on affordable housing, and efforts to clean up abandoned mines or cap old oil wells.

Biden responded Friday to criticism that higher taxes on businesses could hold back hiring or growth.

“Asking corporate America just to pay their fair share will not slow the economy at all,” he said. “It will make the economy function better and create more energy.”

The jobs market is strengthening as more businesses and schools reopen, and as vaccines roll out. U.S. employers added the most jobs in seven months in March, according to a Labor Department report earlier Friday.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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