The U.S. housing bubble certainly is not just about houses and banks. It’s also about the loss of many people’s livelihoods. Construction workers found themselves without houses to build. Landscapers looked for the people to plant new gardens, but instead found homeowners making do with what was previously there. The demand for machinery shriveled as construction of new dwellings grinded to a halt.
Consider how from 2001 to 2006, more and more people were building new homes. This passion for new construction boosted employment for residential construction workers by 29.1 percent. In the following three years, these same professionals faced a 36.3 decline in employment. Similar job trends caused grave effects for workers ranging from cashiers at furniture stores, to real estate agents, to masons.
It seems like the only benefactors of this economic bust are the trees: wood product manufacturing declined by 35 percent. At least the trees can relax a little.