by Bill McBride on 2/06/2007 03:56:00 PM
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Rex Nutting at MarketWatch writes: Many layoffs coming in housing, economists say
The home-building industry collapsed in 2006, but surprisingly few workers lost their jobs, revised government data show. That could change this year, economists said.Click on graph for larger image.
Between December 2005 and December 2006, the number of building permits for new homes plunged 23.5%, while spending on residential construction projects fell by 12.4%. But over that time, employment in residential construction fell by just 1.4% from 3.38 million to 3.34 million. ...
This graph shows residential construction employment vs. completions and starts (Starts are shifted 6 months into the future). Part of my Housing 2007 forecast concerned the loss of 400K to 600K residential construction jobs over the first 6 months of 2007.
"What it means is that we have a steeper cliff to fall off from," wrote David Rosenberg, chief North American economist for Merrill Lynch ...
"We are doubtful, however, the gross job losses tied to the housing cycle are any more than one-third complete," [Steven Wieting, an economist for Citigroup] wrote. He's looking for losses to "easily exceed a half million."
Rosenberg estimates that employment in residential construction will fall about 20% in 2007, or about 600,000 jobs. In essence, the number of jobs in home-building will return to 2002 levels as the pace of home building does.
In addition, of some 3 million manufacturing jobs tied directly to housing, about 10% will disappear, Rosenberg estimated.
All told, that's about 900,000 jobs likely to be lost this year, and it doesn't include a large number of threatened jobs in real estate, mortgage banking and other housing-related fields.
Posted by Bill McBride on 2/06/2007 03:56:00 PM