Construction Jobs Make Biggest Gain Since 2006

Industry added 82,000 jobs between November and January.

The outlook for U.S. construction workers brightened on Friday with a report that showed growing momentum in hiring at building sites.

The U.S. Labor Department said 82,000 construction jobs were created between November and January, the biggest three-month gain since the three months ended April 2006.

That suggests the recovery underway in the U.S. housing market, seen in appreciating home prices and more housing starts, may be leading to a stronger pace of hiring.

"We're seeing more demand for construction workers," said Jed Kolko, an economist at real estate website Trulia.

The housing rebound still has a long way to go before a full recovery, but growth in the sector will likely boost economic growth in 2013 for the second straight year.

Friday's data was contained in the government's monthly employment report, which showed modest employment growth in January and a small increase in the jobless rate to 7.9 percent.

The details of the report showed the labor market in 2012 was healthier than initially estimated, with construction playing a bigger role in job creation. The Labor Department said 335,000 more jobs were created in 2012 than the government had first estimated. Of those, 73,000 were in construction.

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Source: Reuters