Building Trades

Construction Job Losses in 2013

October 31, 2011
Around Town by Neal Tepel

Overall New York City construction spending has remained stable over the past two years, after declining by double digit percentages in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, according to New York City Construction Outlook 2011-2013, an annual forecast and analysis prepared by the New York Building Congress.  The Building Congress anticipates continued stability in 2012 followed by a steep loss in jobs and spending in 2013.
Construction employment is forecast to average 106,900 jobs in 2011, down from 111,800 in 2010 and off 19 percent from its 2008 peak of 132,600.  However alarming job losses are predicted in 2013, when employment could total just 91,800 jobs.  “The current and forecast-ed employment numbers illustrate quite vividly the real life implications of the economic downturn on New York City and our industry,” said Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson.  “As bad as the job losses have been to date, 2013 could be a painful year for a lot of local families if our employment projections hold.”
The Building Congress estimates that government spending, which includes investments in mass transit, public schools, roads, bridges and other essential infrastructure, will reach $14.4 billion in 2011, down from $16.1 billion in 2010 – a 10 percent drop. Spending by the City of New York, which is the single largest purchaser of construction work, is projected to decline by 45 percent between 2010 and 2012.  MTA capital spending is projected to decline dramatically to $2.4 billion in 2013.
Non-residential construction, which includes office space, institutional development, sports/entertainment venues and hotels, likely will reach $10.4 billion in 2011, up from $9.6 billion a year ago.  Spending in this sector could increase further in 2012, to $11.3 billion, before falling to $9.8 billion in 2013.  The non-residential sector has been buoyed in large part by the ongoing World Trade Center redevelopment, the billions being spent on Madison Square Garden and Barclays Arena, as well as expansions by private institutions such as Weill Cornell Medical College, the Whitney Museum and Fordham University.
The residential sector, while remaining far below the peaks reached from 2005 through 2008, appears to have bottomed out in 2010 and is now in the early stages of a slow but steady rebound.

October 30, 2011

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