7 Dec 2008

Obama vows to rebuild infrastructure

11:46 am on 7 December 2008

US President-elect Barack Obama has promised to invest in infrastructure on a scale not seen since the 1950s, when the US highway system was established.

He used a weekly address on Saturday to outline that spending to create at least 2.5 million new jobs in the ailing US economy.

He also spoke of a need for expanded access to high-speed internet and the modernisation of school buildings.

Unemployment in the United States rose by more than 500,000 during November.

It was the biggest monthly rise in job cuts since 1974, and drove up the jobless rate to a 15-year high of 6.7%, up from 6.5% in October.

Last week, the National Bureau for Economic Research said the US economy has been in recession since late 2007.

Mr Obama, who takes office on 20 January, has previously said that his incoming team will be tasked with generating 2.5 million new jobs by 2011.

The president-elect said that broadband internet connections should be available to schoolchildren and hospitals.

School buildings would be modernised and upgraded to make them energy-efficient.

His administration would launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs.