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Rising mercury brings economy along for the ride

March 22, 2012 4:58:39 AM PDT
It is no secret that we've been having unusually warm weather, and Thursday could end up as a record-breaking day across the tri-state area.

And as the mercury rises, it's taking the economy along for the ride.

The head of construction for the Barclays Center has called this weather a gift. A snowless winter and temperatures well above average have meant construction crews continuously working at the site.

And more construction equals more jobs.

In the last two months, 52,000 construction jobs were created across the country, compared to 32,000 added all of last year.

And it's not just professional construction workers helping out the economy during this unusual weather - home improvement projects are also spiking.

Lowes and Home Depot have hired an additional 110,000 seasonal workers, all because of the unexpectedly high number of people doing home construction projects in February and early March.

So where are homeowners getting all of this extra cash? It all comes back to the weather.

"In a typical year, the average family pays a little under $900 for their heat," said Professor Austan Goolbee, of the University of Chicago. "But this year, it looks like they are only going to pay around $650. So it's really a tax cut of about $250."

The official opening of the Barclays Center is set for September 28, with a concert by Jay-Z.

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