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Construction jobs hang on

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Scott Jagow: The people who actually build the homes in this country are overwhelmingly Hispanic, but with the problems in the housing market, are those jobs in trouble? A new Pew Hispanic Center study says not really. Dan Grech reports from our Americas Desk at WLRN.


Dan Grech: Considering the extent of the real estate market meltdown, the positive data on jobs in construction are a surprise.

Rakesh Kocchar: We haven’t seen any negative effect yet.

That’s Rakesh Kocchar, the study’s author. He says the commercial construction sector is still growing, so workers may have switched from building homes to putting up offices and schools.

And, he says, there might be some belt tightening hidden beneath the rosy U.S. Census Bureau statistics.

Kocchar: It is quite likely that either these workers are working more sporadically or their hours have declined a little bit. So which means they are feeling the impact of a slowdown, but we’re still counting them as employed construction workers.

One sure sign that Hispanic immigrants are feeling the pinch: The flow of remittances, or money sent to their home countries, has fallen off dramatically in recent months.

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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