Statement on Jobs from the High-Speed Rail Authority
There has been considerable discussion of the impact of the high-speed rail project on job creation in California.
creation is certainly an important immediate benefit of the project,
but first and foremost the purpose for developing a high-speed rail
system in California is to address the long-term mobility needs of a
quickly growing population. This mobility requirement must be solved
with either a rail system or new roads and runways. High-speed rail is a
lower-cost, more environmentally friendly way to address the State’s
future mobility needs.
As stated by Mike Rossi,
a High-Speed Rail Authority Board member appointed by Governor Brown as
the State’s Senior Advisor for Jobs and Business Development:
construction of a high-speed rail system will create thousands and
thousands of well-paying jobs for Californians, but it is important to
emphasize that the case for high-speed rail does not revolve around
jobs. It is clear to Californians that something must be done to keep
our State moving over the next generation.
case for high-speed rail is in the numbers. High-speed rail is
lower-cost than the alternatives, creates a revenue stream that pays for
its operation, maintenance and future capital needs and can contribute
to its own construction.
leaders should be open to whatever alternative can best solve the
long-term mobility problem, but I do not see a better financial or
10 of the Draft Business Plan issued by the Authority on November 1,
2011 defines the construction and permanent job impacts of building
high-speed rail. Consistent with analysis for capital projects used by
transportation agencies throughout the country, the employment impacts
of construction are expressed in terms of “job years.”
Draft Plan defines this term explicitly to embrace both the number of
workers and the longevity of their work. For example, one person working
on the project for five years would constitute five “job-years” of
the project is in operation, permanent jobs are created to operate and
maintain the system into the future. As stated in the Business Plan jobs
during the construction period represent years of employment while jobs
related to operations are permanent positions.
Draft Business Plan estimates that erecting the Initial Construction
Segment (130 miles of track and civil works in the Central Valley) will
generate 100,000 job-years of employment in the region with the highest
unemployment in the state. The development of the entire Phase I system
over the next 20-25 years will generate approximately 1,000,000
job-years of employment. We also estimate that permanent employment
associated with the operation of just the Initial Operating Segment will
be 1,300 – 1,600 jobs.
some cases, discussion of construction employment has been shorthanded
to refer simply to “jobs”, which is an imprecise and potentially
confusing description. The Final Business Plan and any related job discussions will consistently use the term “job-years” when referring to construction employment and “jobs” for permanent operational positions.