Pollin discusses “green jobs” on NPR

Robert Pollin

Robert Pollin, UMass Amherst economics professor and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, was featured in the story, Is Obama’s Bet On Green Jobs Risky? on 90.9 wbur, Boston’s NPR news station. The story notes that clean energy projects as a whole have received approximately $95 billion in funding and questions whether this is a risky investment. While there is uncertainty as to what the next big economic growth sector will be, there is reason to be optimistic about investing in clean energy. According to Pollin, who was hired by the Commerce Department to run the numbers, the government’s stimulus program on green activities yields approximately 17 jobs per $1 million of expenditure. This compares favorably to military spending which creates about 11 jobs per $1 million and to the oil and gas industry which produces about 5 jobs per $1 million of expenditure. Pollin notes that the payoff is higher because kick-starting a new industry requires more manpower. “There’s way more jobs in clean energy because essentially there’s a lot more construction jobs, there’s a lot more manufacturing jobs, there’s a lot more transportation jobs,” he said. “So it’s really the process of building the new industry that makes it a good generator of jobs.” (NPR, June 13, 2011)

UMass Economics

Folbre: “How to Cut Child Poverty in Half”

Nancy Folbre

Nancy Folbre, UMass Amherst economics professor, writes in the Economix blog about ways to cut the child poverty rate in the U.S. She says Great Britain has accomplished this goal with some pretty standard economic policy tools. “The ordinary policies in Britain that led to what many Americans would consider extraordinary results were these: an increase in the national minimum wage (currently about $9.70 an hour, compared with our $7.25), tax incentives to encourage single parents to move into paid employment, increased public benefits for parents, provision of universal preschool and regulations making it easier for parents of young children to request flexible work schedules.” (New York Times, 6/13/11)