Friday, October 01, 2010

The math doesn't work: peak construction jobs would reach 1756, so how can 4980 new jobs be claimed (and how can they be attributed to EB-5 only)?

Update October 7: It turns out the construction schedule is way overoptimistic; Forest City Ratner admits that, even with delays, the number of jobs are behind predictions.

How can the $249 million investment into the Atlantic Yards project sought from green card-seeking Chinese investors create or retain nearly 5000 jobs, as is required under the guidelines of the EB-5 visa program?

The Daily News took a stab at it yesterday, in a Daily Politics post:
Ratner executive MaryAnne Gilmartin acknowledged at a public meeting last night that only 100 people have been put to work at the site so far (the developer promises more than 16,000 construction jobs over the life of the project, which actually means 16,000 "job-years," or 1600 a year if it gets done in 10 years, which even Ratner now acknowledges is close to impossible.) But she promised that number would grow quickly as arena construction got further underway.
ESDC estimates

How much would that number grow?

The Technical Memorandum issued in June 2009 by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) offers quarter-by-quarter construction jobs estimates over an elapsed time of 13 years.

(Click on graphic to enlarge, and focus on Cur., for Current, as opposed to FEIS, which represents the numbers in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.)

Over 13 years, there are 52 quarters, during which there would be about 52,000 jobs. That averages about 1000 jobs a year.
Peak construction jobs: 1756 a year

Even during the peak construction period between 2011 and 2012, the number of construction jobs averages 1756 per year.

Yes, direct and indirect construction jobs created under the EB-5 program can be counted, but they must last two years.

Remember, the ESDC’s 2009 economic analysis suggested that “construction of the project will generate 12,568 new direct job years and 21,976 total job years (direct, indirect, and induced).”

So, if they generate 1756 construction jobs over two years, using the same ratio to add indirect and induced jobs, there would be 3070 jobs.

How reach 4980 total jobs?

Where are the other 1928 jobs? There would be few permanent jobs, given the failure to construct an office tower.

More importantly, how can the sum total jobs be attributed to just this $249 million investment, when it's part of (as pitched in China) a $1.448 billion project or, as seen here, a $4.9 billion project?

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