Building  Owners  and  Managers  Association  International

Building Owners and Managers Association International

BOMA International Study: Buildings Operations Contribute $205 Billion to GDP; Support 1.5 Million Jobs

June 25, 2012


“Where America Goes to Work” Study Reveals GDP, Jobs and Personal Earnings figures for Office Building Industry


(Seattle—June 25, 2012) Today the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International announced the release of Where America Goes to Work: The Contribution of Office Building Operations to the Economy, 2012, which details the impact of commercial office space on the national and local economies. The report, first published in 2009, shows that the short- and long-term expenditures that sustain office building operations—management, maintenance, repairs, building services and utilities—generate significant, continuous and growing expenditures that support local businesses, create job demand and contribute significantly to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

The 2012 Study finds that the 9.9 billion square feet of commercial office space located within the 94 markets served by BOMA International’s 93 local associations generated $79.7 billion in direct operating expenditures in 2011 to the benefit of workers and businesses within their host jurisdictions— enough to build One World Trade Center 20 times over.

“It’s a groundbreaking and eye-opening report,” commented BOMA International Chair Boyd R. Zoccola, executive vice president, Hokanson Companies Inc. “The study reveals just how significant a role the commercial real estate industry, and office building operations in particular, has on the U.S. economy. The annual operating expenses associated with office buildings help support local economies by creating new jobs, generating personal income and contributing to the local tax base.”

Other significant economic impacts uncovered by the study, include:

  • For each dollar spent on office building operations, the national economy gained $2.57, with the result that $79.7 billion in annual operating expenditures contributed a total of $205.1 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011—equivalent to the state of California’s annual budget;
  • For each dollar spent on office building operations, workers in the United States realized an increase of $0.76 in personal earnings, generating a total of $61.0 billion in new earnings for workers residing within these 94 office market areas and respective state economies in 2011;
  • For each $1 million in expenditures for office building operations, 19.6 jobs were supported nationwide. As a result, $79.7 billion in annual operating expenditures supported a total of 1.6 million indirect jobs across all sectors of the national economy in 2011—about the same number employed by McDonald’s worldwide—in addition to an estimated 2.2 million more jobs directly related to the on-site management and operations of the buildings; and,
  • The 9.9 billion square feet of commercial and government-owned office space located in the 94 markets served by BOMA’s 93 local associations provided workspace for an estimated 44.3 million office jobs.

“When you also consider the secondary benefits resulting from how the money generated by building operations is spent and re-spent, the true impact to local, state and national economies is very significant,” added the author of the report, Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D., Dwight Schar faculty chair and University Professor; and director, Center for Regional Analysis, George Mason University. “Whether a tenant supports an in-building dry cleaner, hails a taxi, takes a business associate to lunch at a nearby restaurant, or grabs a soda from a sidewalk vendor, it all goes toward supporting significant job growth directly and indirectly, and helps generate new personal earnings that further stimulates the economy.”

The analysis included all office buildings—inclusive of tenant-occupied buildings, buildings owned by their occupants and government-owned office buildings. The report also drills into the economic impact of office building operations in the 94 markets served by BOMA International’s 93 local associations.

For more information, download the report at


About BOMA International
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. Founded in 1907, its 16,500-plus members own or manage more than nine billion square feet of commercial properties. BOMA International’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education, research, standards and information. On the Web at

Laura Horsley
Director of Communications
(202) 326-6315 – Office
(202) 386-2484 - Mobile