NAA and NMHC commissioned a report by George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller on the contribution the apartment industry makes to the US economy. From Multifamily Executive’s article about the report:
The study found that apartment industry spending contributes $1.1 trillion to the national economy and supports 25.4 million jobs.
“People underestimate the economic impact that flows from apartment buildings,” says Stephen S. Fuller, an academic researcher at George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis who conducted the study.
“It’s always that first splash of new construction that gets the attention,” Fuller notes. “No one pays attention to ongoing maintenance or to the people who live in these properties. By not paying attention to them and the long-term effect they have, people underestimate the importance to the overall economy.”
Multifamily construction contributed $42.5 billion to the national economy, and construction spending spurred $12.7 billion in personal earnings, while supporting roughly 324,000 jobs, in 2011. That’s nothing to sneeze at. But it’s worth noting that resident spending on goods and services produces an economic impact nearly four times greater than construction.
Apartment resident spending drove nearly 80 percent of the apartment industry’s total contribution to the national economy and sustained nearly 90 percent of total jobs supported by the apartment industry. In 2011 alone, the country’s 35 million apartment residents contributed $885.2 billion to the national economy. Renter spending also generated $222 billion in additional personal earnings and supported 22.8 million jobs during the year.