Single-family housing starts fell 7.1% in August following a 7.0% decline in July as deepening problems in the mortgage market, slowing sales, and a huge inventory of unsold new and previously owned homes forced builders to pull back.The U.S. Census Bureau reported that single-family housing starts declined from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.06 million in July to 988,000 in August. Single-family starts are off by 27% since August of last year. (In August 2005, builders started construction on 1.7 million new single-families.) In August, 22,000 construction workers lost their jobs. Since September 2006, construction employment has fallen by 96,000, according to the latest government employment report.

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