While the nation may have added 103,000 new jobs in September, the employment report showed relative weakness, particularly as it relates to the residential construction sector, which remains far below its job-creation potential in the absence of policies to restore the health of the housing marketplace, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
“We are seeing now what an economic recovery looks like without housing, and the picture is hardly encouraging,” says NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev. “We need to address anti-housing impediments to home builders creating jobs in countless communities across the land.”
The inventory of new homes for sale is at a record low and there are many areas of the country that are approaching a housing shortage. Tight credit conditions are preventing builders from meeting this emerging demand, putting workers back on the job and helping the economy move forward.
Further exacerbating the situation is today’s pervasive anti-housing climate in Washington, says Nielsen.
“Leaders in Washington must stop scaring consumers by talking about eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, ending a federal backstop for housing and calling for a minimum 20 percent downpayment on home loans,” says Nielsen. “This is counterproductive and harms consumer confidence, the housing market and the nation’s economy.”
Housing normally accounts for more than 17 percent of Gross Domestic Product and building 100 single-family homes creates 305 full-time jobs and $8.9 million in taxes and revenue for state, local and federal governments.
“Getting housing back on its feet would be a shot in the arm for consumer confidence, boost job growth and lead to a long-lasting economic recovery,” saysNielsen.
For more information, visit www.nahb.org.