07.31.2013 0

Psst! Labor Dept needs to tell Obama construction jobs are good

By Rick Manning

The United States Department of Labor has stumbled upon a secret.  Construction jobs are good.  And in their never ending quest to create equality in the workplace, a senior civil rights advisor with the Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has penned an instructive article with this fact as its launch point.

In fact, the opening paragraphs should be required reading for every single member of the Administration, especially those deciding whether to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to cross the U.S.-Canada border.

Whether the pipeline will create 5,000-6,000 construction jobs as the State Department estimates, or as few as 2,000 as the President himself opined recently, it can’t be denied that creating thousands of construction jobs can only be good for the economy.

Here is how the Labor Department’s OFCCP generated article characterizes construction employment: “Construction jobs often represent a means of entry into the American middle class.  Data from BLS show that construction is a comparatively well-paying field.”

If the Keystone XL pipeline project provides the means for just 5,000 families to exit government dependency and enter the middle class, it will be worth it.

That’s five thousand Americans, who purchase more goods and services and rather than drain our nation’s treasury, contribute to it.

That’s five thousand Americans who are on a path to achieving their own personal American dream, if only President Obama and his minions will get out of the way.

Five thousand American families may not mean much when dealing with an economy that has 156 million in the workforce, but with 12 million unemployed, a good construction job is like a drink of cold water for a desert traveler for those seeking work.

To put five thousand jobs into proper perspective, Obama’s Department of Energy spent more than $11 million for each of the 2,298 permanent green jobs created since 2009.

Now, with a mere stroke of a pen, he could double this output with zero cost to taxpayers.

Of course, if the company that is actually planning on building the pipeline is correct in their estimate of how many construction workers they plan to hire, the number expands to nine thousand construction jobs, with thousands more that support the project.

It is interesting that the U.S. Labor Department continues to extol the value of construction jobs in America at the same time that their boss at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue denigrates them for their non-permanent nature.

Perhaps, Obama should try reading the Labor Department’s “award winning” blog, he just might learn something.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the Vice President of Public Policy and Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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