Spending $2.5 billion on concrete

The governor’s twin tunnels plan is supposed to create 42,258 jobs in San Joaquin County alone during 10 years of construction. That’s more than Sacramento County (22,572 jobs), even though the bulk of construction will occur there, in the north Delta.

Why is that?

According to David Sunding’s economic benefits analysis, only 3,491 of the San Joaquin jobs are direct construction jobs. The remaining 38,767 jobs are either indirect or induced.

Through a spokeswoman with the state Department of Water Resources, Sunding explained that San Joaquin has a “much larger” indirect impact on jobs because of the money expected to be spent on concrete product manufacturing here. About $2.5 billion is assumed to be spent on concrete in San Joaquin County alone.

Sunding said there are more cement plants in San Joaquin than in Sacramento, and cement doesn’t travel well so it needs to be made near the construction site.

All told, San Joaquin County would get more than one-third of all the jobs associated with construction.

Of course, the numbers represent full-time jobs lasting just one year, so that 42,258 figure might sound a lot bigger to us non-economists than it really is.

And as I reported last week, local leaders are skeptical.

Just yesterday, University of the Pacific economist Jeff Michael released comments on Sunding’s study. Generally, Michael argues that the $5 billion in net benefits reported by Sunding are overestimated. Read his comments here.

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  • Blog Author

    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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