If you, like many Snipsmag.com visitors, were skeptical that the billions the federal government announced it would spend on "shovel-ready" construction projects would have little effect on the nation's employment rate, go ahead and say "I told you so."
The Associated Press says you were right. An AP-commissioned study released today said the money did nothing to effect the national unemployment rate and had little effect on state and local work rates as well.
The study notes that in addition to having little effect on unemployment overall, it didn't have any effect on the high unemployment rates of construction industry workers outside of transportation, which is a very small part of the overall industry.
That explains why it has been so hard to find sheet metal contractors who have directly benefited from the $787 billion stimulus bill passed early in President Barack Obama's term. It also helps explain why the unemployment rate among sheet metal and HVAC workers remains stubbornly high and may be rising.
And it’s probably part of the reason that I haven't had many readers e-mail or call when I asked to hear about any stimulus-funded projects they were involved in. The links on our Web page directing visitors to our listings of stimulus work were very busy - at least at first. I don’t know how popular they are now.
I am disappointed, but not surprised. You can read the complete AP story here.