Diary

10,000 New Highway Jobs? Brian Wilson Crunches Numbers for Maryland -- and Kansas

Brian Wilson and the math for 10,000 new highway jobs in Maryland

Brian Wilson and the math for 10,000 new highway jobs in Maryland

Fox News reported about the press conferences held by governors across the country to talk about how the recently passed $787 billion debt-stimulus bill is going to create jobs.

Brian Wilson reported that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) explained that $365 million in debt-stimulus would support 10,000 jobs in Maryland.  Wilson showed that the average highway construction worker makes about $32,000 a year.  10,000 jobs * $32,000 = $320 million, or 87.7% of the total, leaving only 12.3% for construction materials, like concrete, asphalt, steel.

Wilson assumed work for a year, but job numbers would be more for stimulus work less than a year, or job numbers would be less for a multi-year stimulus.

Wilson investigated where the 10,000 job number came from.  Wilson could find no hard evidence for the 10,000 figure, and the one source he found had a huge disclaimer.  Watch the  “Crunching the Numbers” video.

Wilson asked an economist if the job numbers could be believed.  Economist Peter Morici said the numbers were “absolutely inaccurate” and are a “gross exaggeration.”

Today, Kansas announced $377 million in highway projects that would provide 10,000 to 11,000 jobs.  Wilson’s job math seems to beg similar questions in Kansas, and whether there really are 10,000 jobs here.

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