Home-Building Jobs Growing Much Faster Than Overall Rate

There is a bright spot in Friday’s overall gloomy jobs report: construction jobs are growing more than twice as fast as the overall employment rate.
And most of those workers are building new homes, helping revitalize the residential housing market.
Overall, the March jobs report came well below expectations, with 88,000 jobs added to private and public payrolls, with the unemployment rate dropping one notch to 7.6 percent.
The overall national employment growth came in at only 1.4 percent, while residential construction employment rose 3.8 percent year-over-year in March.
According to HousingWire.com, the number of residential construction jobs per housing unit is above the pre-bubble level at 3.7 jobs for every unit under construction. This compares to 2.6 jobs in 2001.
“That’s not surprising. We’ve seen homebuilding pick up tenfold over the past year, so that’s just now starting to show up in employment,” Paul Ashworth, chief economist at Capital Economics, told HousingWire. “It’s turning into one of the leading sources of employment growth again.”
Meanwhile, the National Home Builders Association said Thursday that the list of improving U.S. housing markets held steady in April, with 273 metro areas.
The NAHB’s Improving Markets Index identifies areas that have shown improvement in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months.
“The stability in the improving markets list this month is encouraging, with three quarters of all metros tracked by our index considered on the upswing as the housing recovery spreads to parts of every state,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C.
In some markets, a relatively thin inventory of homes for sale is holding back a stronger recovery. Builders say that they need easier access to credit for building more homes and putting more people back to work.
“With 75 percent of the country seeing measurable improvement in housing market conditions, the outlook is definitely brightening for local economies this spring,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company.
Builders broke ground on more homes in February, and were issued more construction permits, than at anytime in five years, according to data released last month by U.S. housing officials and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Housing production edged up 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000 units in February.

J. Lipsky

Hello, I am John, born in Cedar Rapids, but lived a lot of years in Latin America. I am an economist and have specialized in credit and debt. Originally sovereign debt, but later on, in credit score management and debt consolidation. I write for many publications. Here in eCreditDaily, I write about credit, second chance banking, and debt. I also write for other websites and bulletins about inflation and country risk.

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