New infrastructure projects would reduce unemployment.
In his inaugural address, Trump vowed to “build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation” and explained that we will “get our people off of welfare and back to work rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.” This is a familiar theme. President Barack Obama said essentially the same thing during his time in office.
While it is certainly true that more projects would mean more demand for man-hours of work, Americans are mostly already working, with the unemployment rate of roughly 4 percent at its lowest point in years. And while there is regional variation, the building trades are getting lots of work overall. It isn’t clear that there would even be enough skilled American labor to undertake any massive infrastructure program without cannibalizing existing projects and driving up the price of construction by private enterprise, thus reducing incentives to create new jobs.