Biden says infrastructure plan will create 19 million new jobs

Jenny Leonard and Justin Sink

President Joe Biden said the sweeping infrastructure proposal he unveiled this week would create 19 million jobs to further boost the U.S. economy’s trajectory coming out of 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.”

Biden’s $2.25 trillion “American Jobs Plan,” announced Wednesday, aims to update the country’s physical and technological infrastructure, and address longstanding economic inequities in the nation.

President Joe Biden responds to a question after speaking about the March jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, April 2, 2021, in Washington.

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.

The White House pointed to a report by Moody’s Analytics when asked about Biden’s estimates for job creation. The April analysis 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.

But that would shift toward added growth and jobs starting in 2023. Moody’s projected that under Biden’s first term as president employment would increase by 13.5 million jobs, compared with 11.4 million jobs without the infrastructure plan.

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.