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Despite likely being the hardest hit profession by the one-two punch of the bursting housing bubble and the ensuing recession, construction workers and home builders were the only group to increase their rate of home ownership in the last few years.
According to a recent analysis of U.S. Census data by real-estate website Trulia, the number of construction workers who own their own home rose 1 percentage point to 55.4 percent between 2010 and 2012. The data was first reported by the Wall Street Journal‘s MarketWatch site.
Not only is that the highest amount of growth among all 70 professions analyzed, it’s the only profession that showed any growth at all. Electricians came in at no. 2, with their percentage falling 0.1 point to 75 percent. Farmers and ranchers were no. 3 with a decrease of 1.5 points to 89.7 percent.
Carpenters, which are included in the construction worker percentage, increased their home ownership rate 0.7 points to 65.4 percent.
So how did construction workers manage to increase their rate of ownership when the industry shed 2.2 million workers between 2007 and 2011?
“The only sectors that saw growth are groups that have access to bargains and distressed housing and have the expertise to fix them up,” Susan M. Wachter, professor of real estate and finance at Wharton University of Pennsylvania told MarketWatch.
And while that’s a certainly plausible explanation, we have to wonder if the increase doesn’t have anything to do with the recession dramatically decreasing the sample size of construction workers. Either way, it’s good to know good things are happening to more hard-working people in the industry.