EY’s latest report, commissioned by Nareit, estimates REITs supported 2.62 million full time equivalent (FTE) jobs in the U.S in 2019, producing $173.3 billion in labor income. Chart 1 shows the increasing contribution from REITs to the American economy over the past four years as measured in FTE jobs. From 2016 to 2019, the jobs equivalent contribution from REITs has risen by 600 thousand. This increase reflects both increased direct employment and investment and indirect and induced economic activity.
Comparing the 2019 estimate to the 2018 report, REITs’ domestic economic contribution as measured by FTEs increased by 11.3%. The increase is attributable to greater REIT construction activity. As shown in Chart 1, the overall contribution is comprised of 919 thousand FTEs supported by REIT operations, 489 thousand FTEs supported by dividends and interest payments, and 1.2 million FTEs supported by REIT construction activities, including the employees doing the construction, as well as the materials and supplies and the induced activity from that expenditure and employment.
In terms of direct contributions, REITs employed an estimated 274 thousand FTEs in 2019. REITs also paid just under $21 billion in property taxes in 2019. This is a 9.7% increase from the previous year.