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U.S. receives C- grade on infrastructure report card

Yahoo Finance's Adriana Belmonte breaks down the infrastructure report card from American Society of Civil Engineers.

Video Transcript

ZACK GUZMAN: I want to shift over to the focus here on infrastructure. As you probably heard Senator Bernie Sanders talk about, there's only one way to describe America's infrastructure, and that would be crumbling. And a new survey out from the American Society of Civil Engineers, which comes out every four years, is basically backing that up with a new rating that gives the nation a C minus in terms of what our infrastructure looks like.

For more on that, I want to bring on Yahoo Finance's Adriana Belmonte, who has the details on that. And Adriana, I mean, I guess C minus is passing if you want to look at it one way, but also not good.

ADRIANA BELMONTE: Yeah, this was actually the first increase that the US got on their report card in 20 years. So I guess that's saying something. But just breaking down the cost, they're anticipating that by 2039, if these issues aren't addressed, it's going to cost the country $10 trillion in GDP, $2.4 trillion in lost exports, and 3 million jobs lost. So something really needs to be done sooner rather than later.

AKIKO FUJITA: Adriana, how do we break down the sectors? Who got the worst grade?

ADRIANA BELMONTE: Transit. D minus, so just right above failing. They have $176 billion backlog. And 19% of transit vehicles, which means, like, buses, trains, ferries, they're considered to be in poor condition, which is considered really subpar. And a big reason why this is, is because it relies on the Highway Trust Fund, which uses the federal motor fuels tax. And that's been at $0.183 per gallon since 1993. It hasn't gone up with inflation. So relying on that has kind of led to almost, like, insolvency.

ZACK GUZMAN: Well, as a man who had a popped tire in Monroe, Louisiana, I can attest to those roads maybe not being in the greatest of shapes. But Adriana, when we look at the impact on jobs, it's something that we continually hear the Biden administration stress, a reason why they want to invest in infrastructure now. What are we hearing about maybe the impact that it could have on the labor sector piece of this?

ADRIANA BELMONTE: So just singling in on transportation, for every $1 billion that are invested in transportation, 49,000 jobs are created. So there's a really big argument to be made here that infrastructure could just kind of be a big priority right now, especially as the economy is struggling to recover the jobs that have been lost over the last year. This could provide a huge opportunity basically for them to recover it.

I also just want to point out as well that-- again, this is just looking at it as a whole. This will cost the average American household about $3,300 a year, which translates to about $63 a week. So, again, this affects every individual American.

AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, I second Zack's comment there. I don't think a lot of people are going to be entirely surprised with the D rating on transit in the US-- signs that there is still much more improvement. Thanks so much for that. Adriana Belmonte bringing us that study.