President Biden is calling his $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan the “American Jobs Plan,” and he claimed last week that the economy will create 19 million jobs if it is passed. In celebrating a strong March employment report that showed 916,000 jobs added last month, Biden on Friday said: “Independent analysis shows that if we pass this plan, the economy will create 19 million jobs — good jobs, blue-collar jobs, jobs that pay well.”
Other administration officials have also used that number in promoting the president’s plan, more directly attributing the job growth to the infrastructure plan. But multiple fact-checkers say that claim is an exaggeration — and a pretty big one at that.
The 19 million figure comes from a report published last week by economic research firm Moody’s Analytics that projected that the economy would add about that many jobs by 2030 if the infrastructure plan was passed. But the report also said that the economy would add 16.3 million jobs over the same time period without the infrastructure package, and 15.65 million jobs without Biden’s Covid rescue package or the infrastructure bill.
So the more accurate measure of the expected job creation resulting from the American Jobs Plan is about 2.7 million jobs, far fewer than Biden or other officials have claimed.
The White House and the Transportation Department told CNN that both National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had intended to say that the infrastructure plan would “help” create 19 million jobs rather than attributing all the growth to Biden’s proposal. Buttigieg told CNN on Monday that he should have been more precise and that the real number of jobs attributable to the American Jobs Plan in Moody’s modeling is 2.7 million.
The bottom line: Moody’s analysis is largely positive on the plan’s expected effects. “The infrastructure plan results in a stronger economy over the coming decade, with higher GDP, more jobs and lower unemployment,” the report says, “Passage of the American Jobs Plan would ensure that the economy quickly returns to full employment, and the plan would provide a meaningful boost to long-term growth.” But in crafting its infrastructure sales pitch, the Biden administration has unnecessarily muddled its messaging by overreaching on the jobs number.