What good things does the TPP hold for underemployed American citizens? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
The underemployed - folks who work part-time and want to work full-time - have a lot to gain from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. I'm not the only one who believes this - a number of independent, credible analyses of TPP have shown it will grow exports, grow our economy, and raise incomes.
Underemployment and unemployment are driven by an economy that's not producing at its full potential - factories that aren't humming at capacity and workers who aren't being put to their highest and best use. It makes sense - fewer goods, services, and exports produced means fewer workers needed for fewer hours.
Conversely, faster growth helps create demand that brings workers back into the labor force. It helps the unemployed get hired. And it creates demand for part-time workers to get more hours and for workers to put their skills to better use.
We've seen that happen in America over the past few years: As we've cut unemployment in half from a peak of 10 percent to 5 percent, we've also seen more job openings for every worker who's looking for a job. We've seen median household income rise at the fastest rate on record in 2015. And we've even begun to see income gains for low- and middle-income households that outpace those at the top.
That's all good news - and TPP can help us build on that progress. An analysis from the Peterson Institute showed that American incomes will be $131 billion higher with TPP than without it when it's fully implemented. But a delay or a failure to pass this deal has similar consequences in the other direction - a delay of just one year results in a loss of $94 billion, or about $700 per household.
So TPP, along with efforts to support education and training, is central to our strategy to grow our economy and create higher-paying jobs. The growth and exports created by TPP could mean more hours on a timesheet for a factory worker, better wages for a unionized laborer, more airplanes and machinery built in Washington or South Carolina - and ultimately more money for all these workers to spend in their local communities, boosting the economy even further. That's not only good for folks looking to work full-time - it's good for our country.
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