A recent article in the Denver Post says hiring in the long-depressed U.S. construction industry will get a boost from the rebuilding that will follow Superstorm Sandy. Those jobs, in turn, could raise economic growth, analysts say.
The article makes the case that construction jobs are especially vital to the economy. Pay is higher than average: At $25.86, average hourly pay tops the average of $23.58 for all U.S. private-sector jobs—and is far above the averages for areas like retail ($16.43) and leisure and hospitality, which includes restaurants and hotel jobs ($13.35).
In addition, job growth in construction typically spurs hiring for other jobs, like architects, real estate agents and sellers of appliances, building materials and office equipment. As the Denver Post reports, the stocks of home-improvement retailers like Home Depot (up more than 3 percent) and Lowe's (up nearly 6 percent) surged last week even as overall stock prices were flat.
Last month, U.S. home construction reached its fastest rate in more than four years—a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000. That's more than 82 percent above the recession low. Read more.