Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Robert Atkinson, Daniel Castro and Stephen Ezell
As Congress considers a substantial stimulus package to get the economy moving, investing in new economy digital infrastructures will provide significant opportunities not just for short-term stimulus and job creation, but also longer term economic and social benefits. In the report, ITIF provides a detailed analysis and estimate of the short-term jobs impacts of spurring investment in three critical digital networks: broadband networks, the smart grid (making the electric distribution system intelligent) and health IT, and outlines policy steps to spur this investment.
ITIF finds that investments in America's digital infrastructure will spur significant job creation in the short run. Specifically, ITIF estimates that spurring an additional investment of $30 billion in America's IT network infrastructure in 2009 will create approximately 949,000 U.S. jobs.
ITIF's major findings are as follows:
1. Investments in America's digital infrastructure will spur significant job creation in the short run.
Broadband networks: A stimulus package that spurs or supports $10 billion of investment in 1 year in broadband networks will support an estimated 498,000 new or retained U.S. jobs for a year.
Health IT: An additional $10 billion investment in health IT in 1 year would create as many as 212,000 new or retained U.S. jobs for a year.
Smart power grid: A $50 billion additional investment in the smart grid over 5 years (e.g., $10 billion per year) would create approximately 239,000 new or retained U.S. jobs for each of the 5 years on average.
2. Investments in America's digital infrastructure that create a network effect (or network externality) will offer superior job creation benefits because of the "network multiplier."
3. Investments in America's digital infrastructure will lead to higher productivity, increased competitiveness, and improved quality of life in the moderate to long term.