Revised estimates show $1.3 billion in construction wages lost due to stay-at-home order


The previously stated estimate of $695 million lost wages was based on 2018 data

Editor’s note: Some of the data in this story was updated by the source after initial publication.

VANCOUVER – The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) has revised estimates on construction wages lost during Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order. It is now estimated that $1.3 billion was lost in wages from the order, which was enacted following COVID-19 outbreaks in Washington.

The economic impact study, which examined the impact on the construction of 46,968 single-family homes built in Washington in 2019, found that Washington homebuilders are responsible for more than 265,000 jobs and $22.1 billion in family income. Photo by Mike Schultz
The economic impact study, which examined the impact on the construction of 46,968 single-family homes built in Washington in 2019, found that Washington homebuilders are responsible for more than 188,000 jobs and $16.1 billion in family income. Photo by Mike Schultz

The previously stated estimate of $695 million lost wages was based on 2018 data. The new estimate of $1.3 billion is based upon 2019 data in the newly released annual study: The Economic Impact of Home Building in Washington: Income, Jobs, and Taxes Generated.

The economic impact study, which examined the impact on the construction of 46,968 single-family homes built in Washington in 2019, found that Washington homebuilders are responsible for more than 188,000 jobs and $16.1 billion in family income.

The study examined both the direct and indirect benefits of single-family home construction in 2019. In addition to jobs and wages, the report detailed the value local communities gain from occupied new homes, such as additional long-term tax revenue.

The report demonstrates the role housing construction can play in recovering from the economic damage done during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Clark County and the entire state is facing a housing shortage. The pandemic has set the state back even further on meeting demand and our local builders are feeling pressure to finish work that would have been completed before or during the work stoppage,” said Avaly Scarpelli, BIA’s executive director. “The industry is poised to help Southwest Washington and the state recover economically; we are seeing historic mortgage rates coupled with pent up demand for housing. Now is the time to urge those unemployed to consider a career in construction and to remind elected officials to ensure they are incentivizing housing construction, not hindering it.”

Each year, the Economic Impact of Home Building in Washington: Income, Jobs, and Taxes Generated report is commissioned by the BIA’s state counterpart, the Building Industry Association of Washington and is conducted by the associations’ national counterpart, National Association of Home Building.

The Building Industry Association (BIA) of Clark County is a nonprofit trade association representing the interests of all businesses involved with real estate, land development, homebuilding, and construction.  

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