WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — New analysis by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst commissioned by the BlueGreen Alliance and National Skills Coalition estimates that the combined investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS and Science Act (CHIPS) will support nearly 3 million jobs per year over the life span of the laws. In total, the research shows the investments will support 19 million job-years.*
The BlueGreen Alliance and National Skills Coalition have summarized the PERI report findings here: https://www.bluegreenalliance.org/resources/executive-summary-of-peri-report-employment-impacts-of-new-u-s-clean-energy-manufacturing-and-infrastructure-laws/
“Our research has found that, in combination, the Inflation Reduction Act, BIL, and CHIPS Acts will be a major engine of new job opportunities for workers in all sectors of the U.S. economy. This includes, among others, electricians, roofers, office managers, accountants, research scientists, truck drivers, bus drivers, sales managers, and bookkeepers. All such workers, and many more, will be making critical contributions towards a U.S industrial renaissance and advancing the country’s clean energy transition,” said PERI Co-Director Robert Pollin.
Researchers project a significant share of jobs created by these investments are within reach for workers without a college degree. A disproportionately large share of the types of jobs created by the investments of these three laws are available to workers without a bachelor’s degree: 69.1% of direct jobs overall, compared to the 59.6% of jobs in the total U.S. workforce.
“These historic federal investments can grow good-paying, safe jobs and build a prosperous clean economy at the same time, delivering for workers, communities, and the climate,” said BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Jason Walsh. “They provide an opportunity, in particular, for low-income and blue-collar workers—the folks who have been on the hurting end of our economy for decades—to move into the middle class. There’s a lot of good news here, but we know that there’s still a lot of work to do to make sure the jobs supported by these laws are good, family-supporting jobs available to all.”
“The success of planned infrastructure projects, including green energy projects, hinges on a new generation of workers having access to the education, skills training, economic supports, and hiring and career advancement opportunities they need to land infrastructure jobs,” said Melissa Johnson, Managing Director, State Strategies at National Skills Coalition. “If we are serious about training an inclusive infrastructure workforce, we need to intentionally open the door to millions of workers who want to train for a new career—particularly workers of color and women.”
In terms of job quality, researchers found the median hourly wages of direct jobs likely to be created by BIL, Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS investments combined is $26.20, which is higher than the average hourly wage of $23.70 for the total U.S. workforce. However, the report also reveals the need for strong labor standards to improve job quality indicators that would otherwise fall below the national average. Across many of the sectors slated for job growth, union membership is lower than it is in the total U.S. workforce. In addition, workers in these job categories are also less likely to have health insurance or retirement plans through their jobs.
The analysis also confirmed certain categories of BIL, Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS investments face a particularly acute need for targeted hiring practices, pre-apprenticeship programs, and other tools to expand job access for underrepresented workers. This is particularly true for women and Black workers, who are consistently underrepresented across the job categories that are likely to grow with BIL, Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS investments.
The National Skills Coalition and BlueGreen Alliance Executive Summary can be found here.
* A job-year is one person working at one job for one year.
National Skills Coalition fights for inclusive, high-quality skills training so that people have access to a better life, and local businesses see sustained growth. We engage in analysis and technical assistance, organizing, advocacy, and communications to improve state and federal skills policies.
The BlueGreen Alliance unites labor unions and environmental organizations to solve today’s environmental challenges in ways that create and maintain quality jobs and build a clean, thriving, and equitable economy. Visit http://www.bluegreenalliance.org.