Apartments drive state economy to the tune of billions

Washington state received $28.7 billion in economic contributions in 2011 from the construction, operation and resident spending tied to apartment buildings, according to a new report from the National Multi Housing Council and the National Apartment Association.

Apartment developments and their residents supported nearly 678,000 jobs in the state, according to the report, which also found apartment residents in Washington exert spending power of more than $11 billion.

Based on research by Dr. Stephen S. Fuller, an economist at George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, the report covers the economic contribution of apartment construction, operations and resident spending on a national level, as well as in all 50 states. In addition, construction and operations data is available for 12 metro areas around the country, including Seattle.

“Although attention is usually focused on homebuilding and the single-family sector, the annual construction and operating outlays for apartment buildings with five or more units are major sources of economic activity, jobs and personal earnings,” said Fuller, in a press release. “In addition, the residents of apartment buildings constitute an important source of local, state and national economic activity as their spending for goods and services is recycled through the economy. Like the operating outlays for apartment buildings, the spending by renters recurs annually thereby supporting local economies on an ongoing basis.”

For more information or to download the report, titled “The Trillion Dollar Apartment Industry”, visit

Washington-specific information is available at

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