Non-U.S. citizens make up 39% of NYC’s construction workforce

December 21, 2011 11:45AM

Non-United States citizens accounted for 39 percent of the total New York City construction industry workforce and 45 percent of all construction trades workers in 2010, according to a New York Building Congress analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey.

Of the 224,500 men and women in the construction industry surveyed, including both white-collar and blue-collar positions in private firms and on government payrolls, white, non-Hispanic men and women accounted for 40 percent, while Hispanics made up 36 percent. Asians made up 9 percent of the workforce, while 1 percent identified as multi-racial.

As for the 168,200 construction labor workers who lived in New York City in 2010, 63,600 were Queens residents. Another 53,700 lived in Brooklyn, followed by 24,200 from the Bronx, 14,400 from Staten Island, and 12,300 who dwelled in Manhattan.

The data, which is based on personal responses to the Census Bureau survey and incorporates both union and non-union labor, as well as management positions, architects, engineers and other service workers, also indicates that construction workers are increasingly going without health insurance. Forty-nine percent of all construction industry workers lacked health insurance in 2010, up from 45 percent in 2009. — Katherine Clarke