Construction Job Growth Shows Housing Leading Recovery

By Bill Esler | Posted: 02/09/2014 10:21AM


Construction jobs spiked in January, explaining strong attendance - 75,000 -  at the highly successful 2014 Builders and KBIS Shows.

More than 48,000 jobs were created in residential building last month, driving wood manufacturing - floors, doors, windows, cabinetry - and the furniture or the homes these workers are building.

Demonstrating a miter saw cutting system for crown moulding at the Builders Show.   The three-day co-located shows, which ended Feb. 6, revolve around home building and remodeling, and were a wealth of anecdotal news and insights. Just a few examples:

  • In March, Masco Cabinetry will launch a line of ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets, shipped even in small quantities.
  • Hafele sees a rise in orders for sliding door hardware and for pocket doors in the hospitality sector. The hardware helps hotels shrink room sizes and costs.
  • Lumber Liquidators, promoting to  professional remodeling contrators, has found a hot business in selling Norge house-brand saws, staples and compressor installation tools
  • Woodgrain Millwork expands its applications for Cerfis polymer coated MDF millwork, with stable boards that could subsitute for melamine shelving.
  • Closets and cabinetry manufacturers and installers are avidly marketing to busy builders, who face a shortage of labor to place kitchens, garages and master bedroom walk-ins.

click image to zoom But the biggest news is the recovery in homebuilding, and the fact that younger people - ages 25-34 years - are buying homes. Half of all new home sales were to this group. Household formation, dampened during the downturn, has now resumed. The National Association of Home Builders sees a rosy outlook will stick.

Do the millenial and Geny-Y age groups have money to buy new cabinets? "Yes," says Gabe Peterson, KraftMaid Cabinetry's senior marketing manager. "People are getting money earlier in their careers," either through new-economy job success, or rapid returns from their own entrepreneurial ventures.


About the Author

Bill Esler, Woodworking Network, WMS

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for overall content at Woodworking Network magazine, and related newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network Live conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He developing audience engagement programs using custom digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at or follow him on Google+.

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