New York City is the most populous city in the United States, with a population of 8,537,673 per U.S. Census data from 2016. This population occupies a geographic area of about 302.6 square miles, making NYC the most densely populated major city in the U.S., as well. (It’s just 13.4 miles long at its longest point and a mere 2.3 miles wide at its widest point.)
New York City is the center of the New York City metropolitan area (defined as the New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area) which has a population of 20.2 million residents per U.S. Census data. The Combined Statistical Area (defined as the New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area) has a population of nearly 23.7 million residents.
New York City is situated at the southern tip of New York State. Its convenient location and massive population makes NYC a global power city that has a major impact on commerce and finance, as well as fashion, media, research, technology, and entertainment, among other cultural influences.
New York City and the broader New York City Metropolitan Statistical Area attracts people of all ages in part due to its many career opportunities across a variety of industries. We gathered some data on the local job market in New York City, statistics for the metropolitan area on job growth and employment, and took a deep-dive into several data sources to get a glimpse into the current job market in the metro for general laborers.
General Laborers: Responsibilities
General laborers work at various types of construction sites performing a variety of physical tasks, such as removing asbestos, cleaning and preparing job sites, loading and delivering materials, and other duties. Because of the typical nature of a general laborer position, these workers must be able to lift heavy objects and have good physical strength. General laborers may be asked to use different types of tools, such as blow torches, lifts, levels, power drills, pressure washers, saws, and others, so experience in using these tools is often a plus when applying for general labor jobs.
In some cases, general laborers will need to possess technical skills in order to use software, such as estimating software, or they may be asked to use software applications to document their work or calculate material needs. General laborers are needed for masonry companies, general construction, carpenters, and other contracting companies.
No formal education is typically required, although some companies seek candidates with computer skills or those with specialized training or who have taken high school classes in welding, general shop, or reading or drawing blueprints.
New York City Job Market
Bankrate says New York City offers the best career prospects for millennials, and it lands at #101 on WalletHub’s list of the Best Cities for Jobs. According to the New York Department of Labor, private-sector jobs for the New York City region (which includes Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond Counties) grew by 2.8 percent year-over-year as of July 2017, marking the largest year-over-year gain since April 2016. The biggest gains were in the following sectors:
- Educational and Health Services: 53,600 jobs added
- Professional and Business Services: 30,100 jobs added
- Leisure and Hospitality: 15,400 jobs added
- Financial Activities: 8,200 jobs added
- Other Services: 5,500 jobs added
- Natural Resources, Mining, and Construction: 5,400 jobs added
U.S. News states that New York City is the “financial and publishing capital of America,” noting that the city is home to many Fortune 500 companies and a variety of global corporations that either maintain offices in the city or are headquartered there. Economic growth in NYC is strong; in fact, the area’s unemployment rate has been declining for years and is currently at its lowest rate since 2008.
The median annual household income in New York City, $60,108, is substantially higher than the national average of $48,320. However, there’s also a higher cost of living in NYC compared to many areas across the U.S., and there’s a large wage gap in the area due to the myraid industries that exist in the city. According to U.S. News, the top industries in New York City include:
- Finance and Insurance
- Health Care and Social Assistance
- Professional, Scientific, and Professional Services
Image via U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), year-over-year job growth in the New York-Newark-Jersey City-N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. Metropolitan Statistical Area in the period ending in July 2017 was 1.8%, higher than the national growth rate, 1.5%. The metro area has had job gains consistently each month since August 2010.
We compiled the current state of the general labor job market in New York City and throughout the metropolitan area using data from a variety of area sources. In total, we found 16,108 openings for general laborer positions in the metro area. We also gathered some data from the same eight sources on opportunities for more specific roles in the general labor field including:
- General Laborer – Contractor: 12,571 results
- Warehouse Laborer: 2,192 results
- Field Laborer: 10,965 results
- Asphalt Laborer: 173 results
- Landscaping Laborer: 2,193 results
- Skilled Laborer: 2,078 results
A June 2017 report from BISNOW says that the construction industry in New York City is booming, spelling ample opportunity for general labor professionals. “The New York Building Congress analyzed data from New York State’s Current Employment Statistics and Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, finding that construction worker wages increased at a greater rate in 2016 than in any year since 2007, from $76K to over $80K. The overall workforce involved in building construction saw a 9.1% spike in wages from 2015 to 2016.” The construction industry in NYC generated an astounding $66 billion in 2016.
In fact, job growth in the construction sector has been rapid in the last few years, with the total number of construction workers in NYC breaking 140,000 for the first time in 40 years in 2016. This marked the 5th straight year of growth in the sector, with 2017 expected to be the 6th consecutive year.
Top General Laborer Employers in New York City
Companies across a variety of industries hire general laborers for various tasks. Here’s a selection of a few of the leading companies that hire general labor workers in New York City and in the larger metropolitan area.
Empire General Contracting Corp
A design-build, general contracting, and construction management company that’s been doing business in New York City and surrounding areas for 20 years, Empire General Contracting Corp hires general laborers in NYC and nearby areas.
The Madison Square Garden Company
Everyone has heard of Madison Square Garden. A world leader in live sports and entertainment, The Madison Square Garden Company hires general laborers for building operations and other needs.
A premier importer of aftermarket automotive parts, ABC Parts International has been in business for 30 years and is the number one source of aftermarket parts for some of the largest collision repair shops in the industry. ABC Parts International hires general laborers for its automotive parts warehouse.
D. Reis Contracting has a reputation for exemplary craftsmanship and personal service. A premier builder for the Greater New York City area, D. Reis Contracting hires general laborers for site housekeeping, unloading and organizing material deliveries, cleaning and storing tools, and other duties.
National Air Filter Service Company
National Air Filter provides testing and maintenance services of cleanrooms and controlled environments to ensure consistent reliability, efficiency, and compliance. The company hires general HVAC filter service laborers in New York City and nearby areas.
The nation’s leading design-assist structural concrete contractor, Ceco Concrete Construction helps clients, owners, and end users build the highest-performing structures possible. The company hires general laborers in New York City and in the surrounding area for job site cleanup, moving materials, and other tasks.
Milro Associates, Inc. is a family-owned and operated company providing emergency restoration services and specializing in Storm Damage, Water, Fire, Smoke, Mold, Lead & Asbestos; cleanup and repair for residential homes and commercial real estate. Milro Associates hires general laborers for installation and other on-site tasks, such as Oil Tank Installers and Environmental Technicians, who are responsible for cleaning up oil spills in certain environments.
Expedite Restoration Group offers commercial roofing, waterproofing, and masonry services. Expedite Restoration prides itself on building positive relationships with the clients they serve. The company hires general laborers in New York City and the broader area for concrete work, equipment operation, and even foreman roles.
New York, NY is the center of a booming metropolitan area that hundreds of companies call home, whether as their headquarters or one of several locations in which they operate. Construction companies, masonry, and other contractors regularly seek general laborers to help with a variety of on-site needs. This short list represents only a few of the many companies operating in the New York metro.
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