Residential sector highlights city’s ongoing construction woes

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Residential construction declines powered a solemn 2010 for New York City construction, that included a 12 percent decline in construction spending and 9,000 fewer industry jobs, according to report released by the New York Building Congress today. Construction spending in the city fell in to $23.7 billion in 2010 from $27.1 billion in 2009 and roughly $31 billion in 2008, and employment hit 111,800, the lowest level since 2004. Most of the job losses have come from building construction jobs and specialty trades, as the heavy construction and engineering sectors gained numbers last year. But the most drastic declines over the last two years have come from residential construction: just 5,400 new units were built last year at a cost of $2.2 billion, down from 34,000 and $6.73 billion, respectively, in 2008. Non-residential construction also fell, but caught a softer landing as work at the World Trade Center, Empire State Building, United Nations, Atlantic Yards and Madison Square Garden propped up that sector. “Looking ahead … the key will be what happens on the government side, which accounts for more than half of all spending,” said Richard Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress. “There is concern that lingering budget deficits, along with decreases in federal funding, will result in a severe downsizing of capital programs, especially in city government and at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.” TRD