Lower Unitary Shipments Evidence of Industry Shift
Besides 13 SEER, the slumping housing market, among other explanations, has been quoted as a reason for the waning numbers. Commercial work, however, has elevated its demand and has helped balance the tipping market, not only in unitary numbers, but also in employment numbers. “Nonresidential construction jobs jumped in January, while homebuilding employment grew chillier,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), commenting on the January employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
“Nonresidential construction employment growth has been sizzling. Over the past 12 months, nonresidential building contractors and nonresidential specialty trades have boosted employment by 160,000 or 5 percent. In contrast, residential building and specialty trades employment slipped again in January, bringing the year-over-year decline to 84,000 jobs or 2.5 percent of the January 2006 total,” Simonson observed. “I expect home builder numbers will continue to shrink for most of 2007, until they see a marked upturn in home sales.”
Publication date: 03/05/2007