Rural communities and rural economies across the United States will see a big boom thanks to the new bipartisan Infrastructure Bill passed last week. Here’s what is in the bill and how it will help.
Though the year seemed like it would be economically challenging, the United States is on the path to finishing up the year with strong economic numbers.
The economy will continue to see unprecedented growth thanks to Congress’ new $1.2 billion infrastructure bill. The bill will direct federal funding to all 50 states, so they can do badly needed repairs on roads and bridges. It will also put millions of workers back to work and help further reduce unemployment.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act delivers broadband to rural homes, communities, and businesses across the country — increasing access to jobs, education, health care, banking, and markets for farmers and rural small businesses.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many small towns have found it hard to protect themselves from the virus by working-from-home like many people living in cities with high-speed internet have been able to do. This bill will change that by increasing access and opportunities to work remotely in rural areas. This will enable countless young adults stuck between making a decision to move to a city for better pay or staying home to invest in their communities the option to stay in the communities they love.
This bill allocates about $65 billion in federal funding to expand broadband access and 5G connectivity nationwide. Delivering better broadband infrastructure will give more Americans in every part of the country access to high-speed internet, helping provide good paying jobs across the country.
Roads, Bridges, and Major Projects
For a country which once prided itself on having the best infrastructure, the United States’ roads and bridges are in desperate need of improvement.
The infrastructure bill includes a total of $40 billion of new funding for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation, which is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system. This investment will have rippling effects for business in rural areas.
Repairing the road and bridge systems will help decrease transportation costs for farmers to get their goods to market. It will also boost local economies where new projects are implemented. And of course, it will bring jobs. Lots of jobs.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Last weekend, the administration told an audience that the infrastructure bill will create “millions of jobs” and help ease inflationary pressures by improving links in the supply chain, like funding upgrades to U.S. ports.
Moody’s Analytics predicts the new infrastructure bill will add over 2.4 million jobs by the end of 2025 as spending ramps up on road construction and in preschools. As the US economy hits the lowest unemployment numbers since the beginning of the pandemic, added jobs are expected to increase wages across the country.