Transportation construction report shows industry scale, net economic activity

Sources: American Road and Transportation Builders Association, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

In “The 2015 U.S. Transportation Construction Industry Profile,” ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black estimates the value of 2015 public and private transportation construction and maintenance work at upwards of $275 billion, an investment generating nearly $510 billion in annual U.S. economic activity and accounting for 1.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product.

Transportation construction and maintenance ranks larger than U.S. industry sectors such as wireless communications carriers ($254 billion); food and beverage stores ($222.5 billion); insurance agencies and brokers ($219.5 billion); nursing care facilities ($171.1 billion); aircraft manufacturing ($158.3 billion); and, automobile manufacturing ($131.4 billion). Dr. Black’s analysis of federal government data also shows how transportation construction and maintenance supports upwards of four million full-time jobs, which generate $155 billion-plus in direct and induced wages coupled with $10.9 billion in federal payroll tax receipts, while contributing an estimated $17.5 billion each year in state and local income, corporate and payroll tax revenue.

Without the infrastructure built, maintained and managed by the nation’s transportation construction industry, virtually all of the major industry sectors that comprise the U.S. economy—and the jobs they sustain—would not exist or could not efficiently and profitably function. “The simple fact is that nearly 63 million American jobs in just tourism, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, agriculture and forestry, general construction, mining, retailing and wholesaling alone are dependent on the work done by the U.S. transportation construction industry,” affirms Dr. Black.

ARTBA has launched, with a clickable U.S. map and national data. Individual state data is also available and includes statistics on job creation; federal and state payroll tax revenue generated; scope and conditions of each state’s transportation network; value of freight shipments; commuting patterns; and, motor vehicle crashes.