On March 8, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its February Employment Report and the numbers are promising. “We’re seeing the very early fruits of recovery,” explains Dr. Peter Muoio, head of the research division of online real estate marketplace Auction.com.
While commercial construction job growth is most impressive—a 3.1 percent seasonally-adjusted gain over year-ago figures and an addition of 15,500 jobs in the past 3 months—residential construction employment isn’t lagging too far behind. The sector was up 0.6 percent over the last 3 months, reflecting the 3,300 jobs added over that time.
“When we compare the residential numbers in a year-over-year basis, for the first time we’re seeing that it is marginally positive, with a 0.1 percent gain,” Muoio says.
The senior economist explained that the expansion comes from growth in the multi-family and single-family home construction markets from numbers reported in February 2012. According to Muoio, multi-family home building has made significant strides since then and single-family home construction—typically the bigger portion of the sector—is showing “glimmerings of growth.”
With renewed life for the home building industry, Muoio is confident this development will boost related industries, such as home furnishing and home manufacturing. Their growth may serve to reinforce the idea that the housing sector is gaining speed.
“You buy a house and then you need to furnish it, get the draperies and curtains, and do some painting,” Muoio says.