NYC construction industry one of “biggest losers”

City saw highest month-over-month gain in overall employment in the last 23 years
March 14, 2012 12:30PM

Big New York City job losses in the construction industry continued in January, according to a January employment report issued today by Eastern Consolidated. However, New York City added 31,200 jobs in the month of January alone, the highest month-over-month gain in the last 23 years. Year-over-year, the city added 54,200 jobs.

Eastern Consolidated considers the construction sector to be one of the “biggest losers” of jobs for the one-month period from December 2011 to January 2012, with 3,000 jobs lost. For the period spanning December 2010 to January 2012, the industry lost 2,300 jobs, which marks a 2.1 percent loss from the same period the year before.

According to Eastern Consolidated chief economist Barbara Byrne Denham, construction’s decline of 3,000 jobs came as a surprise, given the mild winter weather. “Warm weather brings up numbers,” she told The Real Deal. She attributed the decline to tough financing for construction loans, due to the state of the economy. Ultimately, she said, she sees the construction industry improving down the line.

The real estate industry, which excludes the construction business, added 900 jobs in January 2012, showing the lag of construction did not hold the real estate industry back from hirings, Denham said.

Regarding the citywide spike in job figures, Denham said it’s typical for January, and is then followed by declines for the next two months. — Zachary Kussin