Even when most economic indicators point to a recovery, job growth is lagging stubbornly behind. So this question needs to be front and center in the minds of Members of Congress.
And in some ways, it has been. Between 2001 and 2008, U.S. military spending increased, in real terms, by nearly 75%. During the 2009 budget debate, the case for sustaining this trajectory turned as much on the claims (often inflated) about the jobs this money would support as the security it would provide.
The jobs base created by the highest levels of military spending since World War II is indeed large, and widely dispersed in nearly every state. The question is whether more jobs could be created by the same amount of money invested in other ways.
The study was conducted by economists at the Political Economy Research Institute of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, commissioned by IPS and Women’s Action for New Directions.