Va. transportation investment to create 19K jobs

Nearly 19,000 new jobs will be created in Virginia with an increased investment in transportation construction, according to a new study issued Dec. 1.

Additional transportation investment also will generate $162 million in new state tax revenues and boost the Commonwealth’s economic output by $2.45 billion, with 58 percent of that coming from non-construction industries.

“These figures are more than promising; they are real,” said Richard “Dick” Reese, president of the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance (VCTA), in a written statement. “Everyone benefits. People acquire good jobs, the state’s economic outlook improves, and drivers and visitors benefit from better safety and reduced congestion on our bridges and roads.”

“Building Virginia’s Future: The Economic Impacts of a $1 Billion Annual Transportation Capital Investment” was prepared for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation (ARTBA)Development Foundation. The study examines how public investments in Virginia’s transportation infrastructure stimulate business activity and government revenues.

Specifically, the study’s findings show that a sustained $1 billion annual increase will do the following:

* Create and sustain 18,695 new jobs (55 percent of which would be in non-construction industries) throughout the state’s economy, with a total annual payroll of $720.4 million;

* Boost the state’s total economic output by $2.45 billion, with 58 percent of that increase coming in non-construction industries;

* Generate and sustain a total of $162 million in new state tax revenues, including $118.7 million state sales tax, $42.3 million in state income tax revenue and $1.6 million in state payroll tax collections;

* Increase output in Virginia’s manufacturing ($265.5 million), retail trade ($135.6 million) and real estate and rental/leasing ($148.3 million) sectors, among others; and

* Add new jobs in the retail sector (1,918 new jobs), manufacturing sector (1,051 new jobs), and accommodation and food services industries (1,002 new jobs), among others.

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“The study shows the unique, synergistic nature of transportation capital investments,” Reese said. “We realize immediate economic activity including jobs and tax revenues. We also create capital assets that live longer than the investment and contribute to economic activity for many decades to come.”

According to the report, an increase in transportation investment will improve mobility in Virginia by providing better access to jobs, services, materials, and market. It also will help reduce congestion and increase safety, according to the report.