Most houses are built by small-scale enterprises operating on a local scale. They employ mostly semi-skilled or unskilled worker who do not demand a high wage. They tend to employ local people so the wages go directly into the local area. Low-income workers tend to spend their earnings on locally produced food and other goods rather than saving it, paying taxes or buying imported items. Thus the money circulates in the local economy very effectively (with an income multiplier of at least two). The multipliers from backward linkages (activities which supply the construction site with materials, transport and services) are also particularly high for lower cost housing and for housing constructed in depressed economies. Forward linkage can also be important. They include the range of maintenance activities and production of the fittings and furnishings which people buy to turn their dwelling into a home.
2. Capital-intensive construction is less useful in providing employment and even less effective in generating local income multipliers. The most extreme example of the opposite strategy is heavy-panel prefabricated construction where there is very little site labour and comparatively high machinery, import and energy costs.