Click to enlarge.
The line in black shows the money spent on office construction per month adjusted for inflation (October 2012 dollars, in billions). If one adds up all the monthly data and adjusts for inflation, there has been $588 billion spent on office construction since the year 2000.
The line in blue shows nonfarm payrolls. There have been 2.97 million employees added since 2000.
Since 2000, $198,000 has been spent on office construction per nonfarm payroll job added.
$588,000 million / 2.97 million = $198,000
Using hindsight, does that appear to be money well spent?
On the one hand, not every payroll employee added actually works in an office. On the other hand, not every office building that existed in 2000 still exists today. Sigh.
Is it really any wonder that office construction has been in a downward trend for the last decade or so? When job growth began to fail, so too the need to build new offices.
St. Louis Fed: Custom Chart