First, Happy Easter! Second, a Georgetown University Study done by its Center for Education and the Workforce, evaluated the proposed President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris American Jobs Plan and found the following:
– 90% of infrastructure jobs are held by men, and the majority of new jobs created would be in male-dominated fields.
– An infrastructure program would create 8 million jobs for workers with a high school diploma or less, 4.8 million jobs for workers with more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree, and 2.25 million jobs for workers with bachelor’s degrees and above.
– An infrastructure program would create 3.4 million jobs in the Southeast, 3.2 million jobs in the Pacific Coastal region, 2.8 million jobs in the Midwest, 2.4 million jobs in the Mid-Atlantic, 1.9 million jobs in the Southwest, and 713,000 jobs in New England.
– An infrastructure stimulus would expand broadband internet access to 21.3 million more Americans
– Infrastructure jobs will consist of those for tradesmen, construction workers, and material moving and transportation workers, as well as downstream jobs only somewhat related to infrastructure, such as in offices and retail services.
The study even has neat, interactive charts for our use, like this one:
Infrastructure Plan Could Restore the Pace of Job Creation That Was Derailed by COVID-19
Or this one:
Infrastructure Jobs Will Require Varying Levels of Training
Infrastructure Program Would Create Jobs at Every Education Level
But one fact remains:
90 Percent of infrastructure jobs are held by men, and the majority of new jobs created would be in male-dominated fields.
The American Jobs Plan has a problem: it looks at the current economy as if it was from 2008. Now, given the plight of male laborers in a society increasingly dominated by tech, what the American Jobs Plan winds up focusing on will help temporarily reduce the size of that problem, but it says nothing about another problem.
Women Have Lost A Net Of 5.4 Million Jobs And The American Jobs Plan As Presented Will Not Replace Them
According to the Center for American Progress, the recession has been hardest on American women:
Over the course of the first 10 months of the pandemic, women—particularly women of color—have lost more jobs than men as industries dominated by women have been hit the hardest.4 Overall, women have lost a net of 5.4 million jobs during the recession5—nearly 1 million more job losses than men.6 The job losses in December are a stark illustration of these trends: Black, Hispanic, and Asian women accounted for all of women’s job losses that month, and 154,000 Black women dropped out of the labor force entirely.7 This push of job losses, combined with the pull of increased caregiving at home,8 has created a recession in which more women have been affected, leading Dr. C. Nicole Mason to dub it the first ever “she-cession.”9 Congress and the federal government’s failure to act immediately has only further jeopardized families’ fragile economic security and has the potential to create lasting harm for women’s careers and the U.S. economy as a whole.
Moreover, Georgetown pointed to an “unequal race for good jobs” in 2019:
It’s fair to say the American Jobs Plan will not solve the problem.
Answer: The Rapid Recovery Of The MICE Industry And Restaurant Industry
There is one answer: the American Jobs Plan should include a plan for the rapid recovery of the MICE Industry: where MICE stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions, as well as the restaurant industry. Focusing on the one main driver of economic loss, the job depressions in the MICE and Restaurant Industries, would provide a ripple effect through the rest of the American economy.
Unlike the past, the MICE and Restaurant Industries command spending for sign-makers, musicians, IT managers, entertainers, and many who make up the very cultural economy decimated by the Pandemic, and are represented by women far more than in the transportation sector. They too represent the American economy of today.
And in the case of MICE, an average MICE event attendee will spend six times that of a typical tourist according to International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) statistics. The MICE and Restaurant industries must be bolstered by the government’s jobs program. The question is how?
An MICE and Restaurant Industries Economic Recovery Grant Program
The answer is in a giant, one time, MICE and Restaurant industries, economic grant program, then a “wage-subsidy” floor program paid for by a value-added tax, as opposed to a regular tax system. The economic grant program would vary in size from $5,000 to $50 million, and be focused on existing businesses (which can show state-approved articles of incorporation, a statement of good-standing with the state or local business license or certificate issuer, and / or an active business license) in the MICE and Restaurant Industries, and businesses in support industries, most notably marketing, maintenance, graphic design, game development, and film and television.
The administration of the grants is based on per-employee and / or contractor size. The contractors must be active and listed, proven by drivers license, a web-presence connected with the business, and a signed document issued by the government. So, in this preliminary idea, a firm of one officer and five contractors would get a $30,000 grant.
As to how big the overall program should be, I would peg the first amount at $500 billion – that would be enough to provide $5000 grants to a pool of 40 million small businesses (about 10 million more than the 30 million America has) and up to $50 million grants to a pool of 6,000 businesses in America. Administration of the grants should be through the current American banking system, but with new local state-and-city-ran monitoring, assistance, and oversight offices. The monitoring cost I peg at $200 million and would be assigned on a formula of population size – localities could provide their own funds to help pay for their local office operation, on top of the startup grant. These are the broad brush-strokes of a program we need to help women in this recovery.
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