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Queens rules city construction sector

11:02 am, December 26, 2013

By Bud Perrone

Queens rules the construction industry, according to new analysis from the New York Building Congress.

Around 70 percent of the 185,233 New York City residents employed by the construction industry hailed from the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn in 2012, according to Congress analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS).

As of 2012, the most recent year for which ACS data are available, 70,809 Queens residents (38.2 percent of the total) and 59,027 Brooklyn residents (31.9 percent) held jobs in the construction industry.

The Bronx placed third on the list with 26,668 workers (14.4 percent of the total), followed by Staten Island with 14,860 workers (8.0 percent) and Manhattan with 13,869 (7.5 percent).

Overall, the number of New York City residents employed in the construction industry rose 3.0 percent from the 179,814 residents who were employed by the industry in 2011.


“We are encouraged to see a three percent increase in the number of New York City residents actively employed in the construction industry,” said New York Building Congress president Richard T. Anderson. “However, it is worth noting that, even after this 2012 increase, the industry in 2012 employed nearly 28,000 less workers than it did in 2007. Our hope and expectation is that most, if not all, of these lost jobs will be recaptured as part of a rising construction market between 2013 and 2015.”

The median earnings for New York City construction workers rose 2.4 percent — going from $31,416 in 2011 to $32,155 in 2012, after adjusting for inflation. By comparison, the median earnings for all New Yorkers dropped by one percent, to $36,811, in 2012.

The construction trades and other occupations directly involved in construction operations accounted for 82 percent of the industry workforce. The rest of the workforce consisted of white-collar jobs, such as management and sales, as well as service occupations, such as security officers and maintenance workers.

Additional 2012 demographic highlights include: Approximately 76 percent of construction industry workers are employed by private companies. Another 18 percent are self-employed. The remaining six percent are employed by government and not-for-profit organizations.

Men up 92 percent of the construction workforce. Median earnings for y women were nearly $10,000 greater than their male counterparts.

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