USA Today (03/08/13) Paul Davidson
Job growth is steadily improving, and is spreading to more industries, including mortgage lending and charities. Hiring in previously lagging industries points to a more sustainable, less vulnerable recovery, says Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner. The trend also helps cut long-term unemployment by opening up jobs to those who have been out of work for a long time, such as many construction workers.
The share of unemployed Americans who have been out of work for six months or longer was 38.1% in January, down from 43% a year ago. An upturn in the housing market is a key factor in the improved hiring outlook. Housing has lifted construction hiring by approximately 200,000 over the past two years, and a ripple effect is being felt at sawmills, kitchen cabinet manufacturers, architectural firms, and other housing-related businesses.