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NEW YORK CITY-The building industry here is accountable for $60.8 billion in annual revenue according to a report by the New York Building Congress. The survey, entitled Bedrock of the Economy: The New York City Building Industry, also found the industry employs more than 275,000 people, who is getting younger and more often residing in the five boroughs.

“The purpose of the report is to highlight the economic strength and changes underway in the overall NYC building industry. We found the industry as a whole comprises literally 25% of the city’s economy,” says Richard Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress.

New York City comptroller William Thompson, says in a statement that the study shows how essential this sector is to the life of the city. “The industry creates jobs, stimulates our economy and provides the infrastructure that is the backbone of New York. It is clear that construction community has been at the forefront of making New York the great city that it is. Behind every building, every bridge and every structure are countless hours of labor coupled with great creativity.”

Of the three sectors which comprise the building industry–design, construction and real estate–construction is the largest. In 2005, which is the year covered in the survey, construction made up $27.4 billion of New York City’s economic activity. Real estate leasing and property management came in second with $25.9 billion.

Bedrock of the Economy also reported that for building industry dollar an additional $0.50 is created through related industries. This means while netting almost $61 billion the industry jumpstarted almost $90 billion in 2005.

The industry’s work force also hails from a variety of backgrounds, although the study found that the vast majority live and work in New York City. Roughly 72% of building industry employees live and work in the city, with Queens and Brooklyn containing the greatest number of construction workers and Manhattan the greatest number of real estate workers.

The study finds that the building industry accounted for 8% of all jobs for white workers and 7% for minority workers. Almost 50% of all the industry’s employees were born abroad with immigrants holding 64% of jobs in the Building service sector and 48% of construction jobs.

Employees range in age from 30 to 50 years with the peak between 35 and 39 years of age. Anderson says the most surprising study finding was that the average age of a construction worker has dropped by 11 years in the last decade to today’s average of 40 years. He attributes the younger workers to increased immigration. “On all levels people are being drawn to New York to do this work from across the globe.”

With a slue of long-term, extensive projects in the pipeline such as Hudson Yards, Atlantic Yards, World Trade Center, and the two new baseball stadiums, the building industry will continue to see strong returns. Anderson says while it is difficult to predict the length of the building industry’s strength, it is sure to last several more years.

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