by Tara Steele in Housing News –
Housing jobs contributing to the economy
It was long said that 2013 would be the year that construction jobs would actually add to the American economy and help kickstart it back up, but according to Trulia, it’s not just construction employment that is contributing, but a plethora of housing jobs, despite a 2.1 percent drop in construction spending in January .
The real estate media company said that “During the housing recovery, residential construction employment is up 125,000 (trough to current), while employment in related industries – like building-materials manufacturing, home-improvement stores, and mortgage brokers – is up an additional 184,000 jobs.”
Additionally, they cite that residential construction jobs rose 3.1 percent year-over-year, including general contractors, specialty contractors, and spec builders. This number is more than double the national employment growth rate, which is 1.5 percent.
Total jobs in construction plus related industries in manufacturing, trade, finance, and real estate grew by 2.7 percent year-over-year, yet Trulia’s Chief Economist, Dr. Kolko says housing-related employment is far below its peak. Residential construction jobs are still 39 percent below their peak during the bubble, and overall housing-related jobs are down 28 percent from their peak.
Housing jobs are more than just construction
“The housing recovery is also creating jobs outside of the construction sector,” said Dr. Kolko, “including the manufacturing firms that make lumber and concrete; stores that sell building materials and construction supplies; mortgage and other housing-related financial firms; and real estate agents, brokers, and other real-estate-related businesses. In all of these housing-related industries, employment is growing faster than for the U.S. economy overall.”
The challenge for the housing sector remains tight housing inventory levels, and trade groups continue to assert that builders are still struggling with obtaining financing under overly-tight lending conditions. Economists state that these two could ease this year, which means that it is foreseeable that housing jobs could continue to outpace the national employment growth rate and contribute to the national GDP.