Buffet thinks people will be surprised how quickly employment improves once the excess houses are bought and normal levels of construction resume. "We will come back big-time on employment when residential construction comes back," Buffett said.
For a time, Buffett said the housing industry was building about 2 million homes a year while roughly 1 million households were being formed, and the nation is still working off that excess created during the housing bubble.
Buffett said an increase in housing construction will prompt a variety of businesses to hire more workers, including such Berkshire units as Shaw Carpet, Acme Brick and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad.
In 2008, there were 7.2 million people employed in construction.
Others have predicted that 2 million jobs may be lost for good, if there is permanent shift to more renting.
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