March 8 - Construction employment increased by 48,000 in February, benefiting from the turnaround in the housing market and rebuilding efforts after Superstorm Sandy. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Daily Digit is 48,000. That's how many new construction jobs were created in February, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The big spike comes from the turnaround in the housing market and rebuilding on the East Coast after the destruction by Superstorm Sandy in late October. Aneta Markowska, senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale, says the fat number doesn't surprise her. SOUNDBITE: ANETA MARKOWSKA, SENIOR U.S. ECONOMIST, SOCIETE GENERALE, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We saw about 40,000 jobs being created by the construction sector alone on average in the last three months. That's quite significant, and I think that will continue, and we could even see further acceleration given our outlook for construction, which I think will continue to increase." Overall, U.S. employers added a greater-than-expected 236,000 workers to their payrolls in February, and the jobless rate fell to a four-year low, offering a bright signal on the economy's health.