Inslee allows ‘low-risk’ construction to resume

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to the press on Friday, April 24, about resuming construction projects. 

The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) has revised its estimates on construction wages lost as a result of stay at home orders due to COVID-19. The BIA now estimates that $1.2 billion was lost in wages from Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay at home order enacted following COVID-19 outbreaks in Washington.

The previous estimate of $695 million in lost wages was based on 2018 data. The new estimate is based upon 2019 data in the newly released annual study titled “The economic impact of home building in Washington: income, jobs, and taxes generated.”

The study examined the economic impact on the construction of 46,968 single-family homes built in Washington in 2019 and 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 important 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,” BIA’s Executive Director Avaly Scarpelli said in a news release. “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.”

– The Reflector

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