Construction of new residential buildings saw a sharp increase in December, driven largely by work begun on new apartments.
The Commerce Department reported that builders started on new housing at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000 units, up 12.1% from November and up 36.9% from December 2011.
Although construction became a part of the housing recovery last year, it hasn’t made a significant contribution to the hiring picture, Jed Kolko, chief economist for real estate website Trulia.com, wrote in an e-mailed analysis.
“The construction rebound hasn’t created new construction jobs,” Kolko wrote. “In 2012 builders bet on local markets with strong job growth and low vacancy rates, not markets experiencing a big price bounce-back.”