The above from Calculated Risk shows that existing home inventories are way down from 12 months ago and basically back to where they were in mid-2005 before we were slumping. That obviously doesn't mean that we're primed for a return to full boom levels of residential investment and construction employment, but it does mean that we should be primed for a return to something like long-term average levels of residential investment and construction employment. For the past few years we've been seeing historically low levels of these things, so even a very meh 2012 would involve a lot of growth and take a meaningful bite out of joblessness.
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