Eight Reasons We Need a Jobs Bill
SOURCE: AP/Harry Hamburg
Approximately 7.3 million jobs have been shed since the start of the recession in December 2007. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was a big step toward curbing the loss, and the economy appears to now be on the rebound, but it is not enough. Congress must pass a jobs bill to help bring back millions of jobs in the private sector and create stronger long-term growth. Here are eight reasons why we need a jobs bill:
1) Without jobs, workers do not have money to spend, which perpetuates a vicious economic cycle. More employed Americans means more customers for businesses and higher tax revenues, both of which provide a much-needed boost to the economy. And fewer unemployed Americans means fewer families that need state and federal assistance to stay afloat.
2) Huge deficits don’t magically disappear. The unemployed don’t pay taxes and our deficit rises because revenues fall every day we allow high unemployment to fester. We must spend now to improve our economy so that revenues will rise and we can eventually pay our debts back when we can afford it. Without strategic initial spending, the health of the economy will never improve. The Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy and reduced government reform did not have the trickle down effect they promised. If we want to reduce the deficit, spending to create jobs is the only way.
3) Public sector jobs have a lasting effect on infrastructure. Economic hardships threaten the cohesiveness of neighborhoods and institutions such as schools and churches. These institutions matter from an economic perspective—saving a neighborhood is less costly than restoring it both financial and social terms. The funds used to employ people in a jobs bill are put to public use. Each public sector job created benefits the worker, as well as everyone in their community who reaps the benefits of improved public services, such as repaired roads, open libraries, and cops on the beat.
4) The best way to boost private sector employment is by incentivizing hiring. Tax cuts for small businesses and a job-sharing tax credit that encourages employers to reduce hours and keep more workers on their payroll rather than laying them off will spur demand, causing businesses to save or create jobs as contractors are hired and goods are purchased that require businesses to increase their output and hire.
5) We must become energy secure. We could create 2.5 million jobs over the next 10 years by investing in clean energy and climate stability. This will put the United States on the path toward economic prosperity and our climate on the path toward stability.
6) Continued investments in the clean energy economy create immediate jobs and long-term job infrastructure. Many rising powers are making strategic investments to develop, deploy, and export new technologies ranging from electric vehicles to solar panels. By recognizing the relationship between clean-energy investments and sustainable economic growth, these countries are laying the foundation for long-term job creation and economic leadership in the 21st century. We cannot be left behind.
7) Special jobs for essential family needs. We must target new job creation to sectors that provide essential family needs, including national service employment; private and public sector employment in child care and after-school programs; and elderly and disabled care alongside more training for health professionals.
8) Waiting is not an option. We need direct government spending in our economy to boost consumption now. Without immediate action, we are facing another—and certainly a more devastating—jobless recovery, crippling future growth. There are costs—both for the government and society more broadly—to high unemployment. It adds to government expenses as more families need assistance from all levels of government, including unemployment benefits and food stamps, help with health care bills, and help coping with a home mortgage foreclosure. And unemployed workers do not have earnings on which they owe taxes, a trend that has contributed to this year’s rise in the deficit.
For more information, see:
- Job Creation in a Recession: The Basics
- Video: How to Create Jobs in the Recession
- Report: Jobs for Today, Jobs for the Future: Proposals for Sustained Employment Growth and Broad-Based Economic Prosperity
- Report: Meeting the Jobs Challenge: How to Avoid Another Jobless—or Job-Loss—Economic Recovery
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