[LINK] Obama, Brown eye IT for job creation
brd at iimetro.com.au
Mon Jan 19 11:38:30 AEDT 2009
Obama, Brown eye IT for job creation
8 January 2009
Given Barclays’ vow yesterday to make another 250 IT contractors
jobless, there is reassurance in the din of UK party leaders willing
forward the job creator that is super-fast broadband.
Seeming to agree with Gordon Brown that the future is fibre, David
Cameron pledged his government would strive to offer the upgraded
broadband to British homes within a decade.
The Conservative leader’s view effectively seals the consensus, in and
outside of Whitehall, that the PM’s vision to invest in a new network,
to usher in a “new digital age,” is the right one.
The network, costing £29bn according to one industry estimate, would
come in a public spending package that Mr Brown said will create,
“probably”, 100,000 new jobs.
An impressive-sounding number of jobs no matter what the state of the
economy and, argued Ovum analyst Peter Clarke, proof that Mr Brown has
an “exciting vision”.
Clarke warned however that with major public projects taking up to two
years to procure, the process must accelerate if the network is going to
deliver any benefits in 2009.
In the US, it is not just broadband that is preparing for a shot in the
arm to help the nation through recession, but also its entire digital
and IT infrastructure.
Called to action yesterday, Congress was urged to devote $30bn (£20bn)
to the IT industry, as part of President-Elect Barack Obama’s proposed
$775bn economic stimulus package.
The call, in a report entitled ‘The Digital Road to Recovery: A Stimulus
Plan to Create Jobs, Boost Productivity and Revitalise America’, claimed
1m jobs could be created or retained.
Sounded by ITIF, the hi-tech think tank, its president Robert Atkinson
explained why the tech industry was a more deserving recipient of
federal money than its traditional rivals.
“Although projects to improve the country's traditional physical
infrastructure (e.g., roads, bridges, sewer systems) are necessary and
important, investments in certain parts of our national information
technology (IT) infrastructure - America's digital infrastructure - will
have a greater positive impact on jobs, productivity, and innovation.”
ITIF estimates that the $30bn for America’s IT network infrastructure in
2009 will create 949,000 jobs, 525,000 of which will be in firms with
fewer than 500 employees.
The proposed spending should be divided evenly in three areas:
super-fast broadband networks, supporting 498,000 jobs, health IT,
supporting 212,000 jobs, and a smart power grid, supporting the remainder.
“Investments in IT infrastructure should not be minimized out of concern
that the projects will take too long to begin to have an immediate
impact on the US economy,” Atkinson writes.
“If the stimulus measures are designed properly, they can quickly spur a
large number of investments - from deploying more and faster broadband
networks to switching to electronic health records to rolling out
advanced energy metering technologies - that are 'shovel-ready.'”
Investment in IT infrastructure offers “superior” levels of job creation
because it creates a ‘network effect’ – whereby “downstream industries”
enabled by it create add jobs.
Atkinson added that new jobs that will emerge thanks to IT
infrastructure’s unique capability to spawn new applications and
services – “many manifested in entirely new industries and/or firms.”
“With the US economy now mired in a deep, and potentially prolonged,
recession, increased investment is one of the best tools to stimulate
aggregate demand and quickly get American workers back on payrolls,” he
“Spurring investments in IT infrastructure not only can provide an
important short-term boost to the US economy; it also can lay the
groundwork for long-term economic growth, international competitiveness,
and significant improvement in Americans’ quality of life.”
brd at iimetro.com.au
More information about the Link