NYC Construction Activity Down Slightly in 2018

The Department of Buildings issued 165,988 construction permits in 2018, down from 168,243 in 2017 -- a drop of about 1 percent. This was the first decline in total permits issued year-over-year since 2009. However, 2018's permit totals are the second highest on record.

The New York City Department of Buildings' report on construction in the city during 2018, recently released by Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, P.E., shows that construction activity leveled off after a historic real estate and development boom. DOB issued a total of 165,988 construction permits in 2018, down from 168,243 in 2017 -- a drop of about 1 percent. This was the first decline in total permits issued year-over-year since 2009. However, there is still an extraordinarily high level of construction activity in neighborhoods around the city, and 2018's permit totals are the second highest on record.

"While construction activity remains strong, the building boom may have finally hit its peak," said Chandler. "As construction trends come and go, our data reports will be there to keep New Yorkers informed about changes in their built environment."

Construction projects approved in 2018 will add 46 million square feet of new floor space to the city, the report shows. Manhattan accounted for 72,004 total permits, around 43 percent of all the permits issued citywide, but DOB reported that activity is booming in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

DOB reported that the U.S. Department of Labor estimates the employed construction workforce in the city has fallen from an all-time high of 46,000 last year to 45,500, which is the second-highest employment number recorded was is the first estimated decrease in construction employment in New York City since the 2008 financial crisis.

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