Homebuilding contributes nearly $68 billion a year to California's economy and creates nearly 487,000 jobs, according to a study released on the eve of the industry's largest regional convention in San Francisco.Prepared by the Sacramento Regional Research Institute, the report, "The Economic Benefits of Housing," says the entire housing industry -- including all goods and services purchased for existing homes as well as new homes -- generates nearly $273 billion in economic activity, supports about 960,000 jobs, and accounts for about 11% of all economic activity in the Golden State. But it also points out that if new-home production were closer to the 220,000 units the Department of Housing and Community Development says is necessary to meet demand, homebuilding would generate $6 billion more in economic activity annually and create 43,000 more jobs. The Pacific Coast Builders Conference, which is largely a California affair, begins the week of June 19.

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