Commercial real estate contributed $2.5 trillion to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) during 2023, according to the newly released Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate research study by the NAIOP Research Foundation.

The study determined that the combined economic contributions of new commercial building development and the operations of existing commercial buildings in 2023 resulted in direct expenditures of $913.1 billion while generating $881.4 billion in personal earnings and supporting a total of 15 million jobs.

Furthermore, total construction spending was up by an estimated 5.6% in 2023 and accounted for approximately 20.6% of total GDP (inclusive of the multiplier effect).  Construction employment averaged 7.96 million jobs last year, with the addition of an estimated 218,000 jobs (2.8% growth) — a faster pace of growth than the overall job market.

“Overall, commercial real estate continues to be a vibrant and important contributor to the nation’s economy,” said Marc Selvitelli, president and CEO of NAIOP. “We are seeing some adjustment in construction activity, notably in the industrial sector, whose growth had been on a record-setting trend following changes to the retailing paradigm driven by the pandemic and other economic forces. We are bullish that as those forces settle out, commercial real estate will expand in 2024.”