Bloomberg News

Buffett Says Employment to Gain ‘Big Time’ on Housing

July 08, 2011

(Updates with Buffett comment in fourth paragraph.)

July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Warren Buffett said U.S. employment will surge with the eventual rebound of the housing market.

“We will come back big time on employment when residential construction comes back,” Buffett told Bloomberg Television’s Betty Liu on the “In the Loop” program today, in an interview from Sun Valley, Idaho. The unemployment rate will drop to 6 percent “within a few years,” he said.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. added about 3,000 jobs last year after cutting more than 20,000 positions in 2009. The company employed about 260,000 people at units from insurance and shipping to consumer goods and energy, Berkshire said in February. Employment gained last year at Berkshire units including car insurer Geico and railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Staffing fell at carpet-maker Shaw Industries.

“Jobs come with demand,” Buffett said today. “We’re seeing demand a lot of places but we’re not seeing it in the construction field.”

--Editors: Dan Kraut, Rick Green

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in New York at afrye@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net


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