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Highway Construction Job Estimates for ARRA Projects

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Measured Employment Data - Actuals

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How does WSDOT estimate the number of jobs created or saved?

WSDOT worked with the Governor’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) economists to estimate the number of jobs created or saved for each Recovery Act highway construction project. OFM maintains a nationally recognized model that is based on state data—typically updated every 5-10 years—that can be used to estimate the employment impact of highway construction projects.
Expenditures and the number of jobs created vary with each phase of the project, such as:

  • Preliminary engineering (planning, design, cost estimating)
  • Right-of-way purchasing
  • Construction

These phases can occur over a number of years and carry different job-creation multipliers.

For multi-year projects, WSDOT based estimates on the year with the greatest expenditures and the job multipliers for the project phase(s) in that year. In other words, this is the peak expenditure-year job estimate. This number was used to avoid over- or double-counting jobs.

Smaller, single-season construction project employment estimates are based on the total project cost. This is sometimes called a “job-years” estimate. This approach was taken because the fiscal year ends on June 30th, which is in the middle of the highway construction season.

Any time a multiplier is used, it is important to remember that it is only an estimate. Using the job multiplier at the beginning of a project gives a statewide “ballpark” estimate of the total number of jobs created or saved.

What types of jobs are included in the estimate?
The estimate produced by the multiplier includes more than just direct, on-the project jobs. While it does include direct jobs, it also includes indirect and induced jobs,

  • Direct Jobs: The actual jobs created or saved from the new investment in highway construction. Examples of these types of jobs include highway construction workers, and project engineers.
  • Indirect Jobs: These are jobs created or saved in industries supporting the direct spending. Examples of these types of jobs include workers in industries supplying asphalt and steel.
  • Induced Jobs: These are jobs created by the re-spending of worker income on consumer goods and services, including food, clothing, and recreation.

How is this estimate different from reporting direct jobs?

Currently, OFM’s model is the best tool available to estimate the employment impact of projects. This estimate not only forecasts direct, on-the-project jobs, but also provides a more complete picture of the Recovery Act’s impact by estimating the associated impacts of spending on highway construction. In addition to the estimated impacts, WSDOT tracks actual employment data (measured). WSDOT receives reports from contractors of the number of employees working on active projects. These numbers are then reported to the Federal Highway Administration on a monthly basis, and will be posted on WSDOT’s stimulus website.

When are employment estimates updated?

WSDOT’s employment estimates are based on the engineer’s project cost estimate. Employment estimates will be updated based on award amounts. When contractors' bids are lower or higher than the engineer’s estimates, the number of jobs supported by the project is adjusted accordingly. Recent contractor bids have come in lower than engineer’s estimates allowing WSDOT to use the savings to finance additional projects. 

Employment Estimates for WSDOT Recovery Act Projects

Note: Project financial estimates as of 5/28/09. Employment estimates to be updated based on final award amount.

Small Single Season Construction Projects

WSDOT Recovery Act Projects

Total Funding

Estimated Impact: Direct, Indirect, & Induced Jobs

I-90/Snoqualmie Pass Vicinity - Camera Replacement
SR 20/US 395/SR 26 HAR Sites Upgrade
SR 103/177th Street to Bay Street Vicinity - Chip Seal
SR 14/Cliffs Rd Vicinity to Chamberlain/Goodnoe Rd - Chip Seal
SR 206/Jct US 2 to Bruce Rd - Paving

Single Construction Season Projects

WSDOT Recovery Act Projects

Total Funding

Estimated Impact: Direct, Indirect, & Induced Jobs

SR 155/Omak Eastward - 2009 Seal - Stage 2
SR 262/Potholes Reservoir Area - 2009 Seal - Stage 2
SR 243/Mattawa Vic - 2009 Seal - Stage 2
SR 282/Ephrata South - ACP Conversion
SR2/Monroe City Limit to Sultan - Paving
I-90/Yakima River to W Ellensburg - Paving
US 395/Spokane Co Line to Loon Lake - Paving
I-90/Slide Curve Vicinity to Cabin Creek EB - Pavement Restoration
I-5/Chamber Way Vicinity to Harrison Ave Vicinity - Paving
US 97/Centerville Rd Vic to Bickleton Rd Br & Satus Pass Vic - Paving
SR 17/Grant County Airport North - Paving
I-90/Snoqualmie Summit to Hyak WB - Dowel Bar Retrofit/Concrete Rehab
I-82/Granger to W Grandview - WB Dowel Bar Retrofit and Concrete Rehab
US 2/Jct SR 211 to Newport - Paving
US 395/Loon Lake to Immel Rd - Paving

Multiple Construction Season Projects

WSDOT Recovery Act Projects Total Funding Estimated Impact: Direct, Indirect, & Induced Jobs
I-405/NE 195th St to SR 527 - NB Widening
I-405/NE 8th St to SR 520 Braided Ramps - Interchange Improvements
I-5/Marysville to Stillaguamish River - ITS
I-5/North Kelso to Castle Rock Stage 2 - Concrete Pavement Rehab
I-5/Port of Tacoma Rd to King Co Line - Add HOV Lanes
I-5/SR 16/EB Nalley Valley - Add HOV
I-5/SR 501 Ridgefield Interchange - Rebuild Interchange
I-5/SR 532 Vic to Starbird Road Vic - Concrete Rehab
I-82/Valley Mall Blvd Interchange - Rebuild Interchange
I-90/Lake Easton Vic to Big Creek Br Vic EB - Replace/Rehab Concrete
I-90/Lake Easton Vic to Bullfrog Rd I/C Vic WB - Replace Concrete
SR 433/Lewis and Clark Bridge - Superstructure Painting
Estimated Total Jobs Created/Saved by All WSDOT Recovery Act Projects ~3700

This includes information pertaining to both state employees and information provided by contractors where applicable.

Last revised on April 03, 2014