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These positive experiences should persuade the united

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Unformatted text preview: 5 jobs. Railroad business activities and buying power support an additional 1.2 million jobs across the broader economy. Railroads also support jobs in industries such as manufacturing, construction, iron and steel, as well as communications and information technology jobs that are supported by rail supplier industries. Railroads also are well positioned to sustain hiring in the years ahead – both to fill jobs needed to meet growing demand and those vacated through retirements and attrition. According to the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, more than 67,000 railroad employees, or roughly 30 percent of the total workforce, will be eligible to retire in the next five to 10 years. Railroads also have said they plan to hire more workers in 2011, as rail traffic continues to recover. Among the seven major Class I railroads, the companies estimate they will hire close to 10,000 workers in 2011 – some to address these retirements and general attrition, while others will be filling jobs needed to meet increased demand. Railroad employees are among America’s most highly compensated workers. According to U.S. government data, the average full -time worker in 2009, the most recent year for data, earned wages of $81,563 and benefits of $25,522 for a total average compensation of $107,085. That compares with the average U.S. employee who in 2009 saw average total compensation of $64,552, or roughly 60 percent of the average total annual compensation for a rail employee. 18 | P a g e High Speed Rail Affirmative BDL Solvency – Economy [____] [____] Public investment in rail is critical to stimulating the private sector and strengthening US economic competitiveness Renner et al., W orldwatch Institute senior researcher, 2010 (Michael, “Global Competitiveness in the Rail and Transit Industry”, September, http://www.worldwatch.org/system/files/GlobalCompetitiveness-Rail.pdf, DOA: 4-20-12) In all of the countries profiled in this report, the creation of a strong rail manufacturing industry has depended to a significant degree on a large and steady stream of investments in rail and public transit, which has created substantial domestic markets. Japan and Germany have done just that for many decades—essentially since they re-emerged from the ashes of World War II. Spain and China have begun more recently to shift their transportation investments dramatically from road to rail. In the process, they are creating world-class industries and positioning themselves for continued domestic growth and export opportunities, and creating rising numbers of rail manufacturing jobs—close to 200,000 in Germany, 116,000 in Spain, and rapidly rising numbers in China. These positive experiences should persuade the United States to follow similar strategies. So far, spending levels on rail and transit in the United States are not anywhere near adequate . Although the stimulus funds contained in the American Recovery and Reinvest ment Act of 2009 (ARRA) are a welcome source of financing, they can be considered no more than an initial down payment. Investments need to be ratcheted up and sustained at a high l...
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