Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NYC Construction Sector Sees Spending Spike

By Anjali Athavaley

Construction spending in New York City is expected to rise this year while the number of jobs in the industry stays flat, according to an annual forecast by an industry group to be released Wednesday.

The New York Building Congress projects that construction spending will rise 9% to $30.7 billion in 2012. That would mark the first time spending would surpass $30 billion since 2008.

“This is reassuring and somewhat surprising,” said Richard Anderson, president of the Building Congress. The forecast is based on an ongoing analysis of capital budgets, development plans and other indicators.

Even though spending is on the rise, employment in the industry is expected to slip less than one percentage point. The tally of 110,800 jobs in the sector would be the lowest since 1998.

Anderson said jobs in the industry were flat because of more efficient technology that requires less physical labor and a growth in the number of non-union construction jobs.

While a larger, more established firm may be hiring, he said smaller companies are unlikely to be expanding: “There is unevenness in this market, strong as it is.”

Anderson said construction spending is expected to stay flat in 2013 before dropping slightly to $29.1 billion in 2014 with the completion of work at the World Trade Center and sports facilities like Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden.


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