Contractors want to cut costs to boost industry

December 19, 2008 03:24PM

are negotiating with their unions in order to lower labor costs by up
to 25 percent as a way to help revive the city’s weakening construction
industry. Labor is about 50 to 60 percent of the cost of a construction
job, according to Louis Coletti, president and CEO of the Building Trades
Employers Association. Coletti said that union unemployment could increase to 40 percent by the end of next year if costs
aren’t lowered. According to the New York Building Congress, it costs
over $400 per square foot to construct a high-rise office building in
the city, compared to $150 per square foot in Atlanta and $180 per
square foot in Chicago.

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