Construction jobs reach record levels in city
Jobs in the city’s construction industry continue to climb to record levels, says state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
New York City’s total construction employment was just under 158,000 last year, topping a record of around 150,000 reached just a year earlier, according to a report from the comptroller’s office Thursday. The city’s construction industry added 45,300 jobs between 2010 and 2018, an increase of 40%. Statewide, employment in the industry climbed 30% over the same timeframe.
While part of that growth came through simply recovering from a crash in jobs during the Great Recession, the report indicates that construction in both the state and city have recovered beyond pre-recession levels. The city lost about 15% of its construction jobs between 2008 and 2010, though that was better than the 28% of job in the industry lost nationally.
Construction was the city’s second fastest growing job sector between 2010 and 2018, behind only leisure and hospitality, according to the report.
Queens added 13,500 construction jobs last year, the most of all boroughs. While Staten Island added less than 5,000 total construction jobs last year, the borough experienced the fastest construction job growth, by percentage, in the industry since 2010. Construction jobs grew 79% in Staten Island between 2010 and 2018, which the comptroller report credited partly to recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy. Jobs in Brooklyn grew 49 percent over the same period, second among all boroughs.
There are a couple of indicators the industry’s growth may slow. Building permits declined by about 1 percent last year, after increasing steadily between 2010 and 2017. The New York Building Congress also projects construction industry spending to slow in the city for 2019 and 2020, according to the comptroller report.
Despite the decline in new building permits, DiNapoli said jobs in construction should “be sustained by the large capital programs planned by the city, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.”
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