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Experts: 2018 set to be best economic year since housing crisis

Although December’s job report numbers disappointed experts’ expectations, many explained that the end-of-year increase in construction jobs is just what the housing market needed. This is down from November’s upwardly revised increase of 252,000 jobs. “Wage growth remains low, but did tick up slightly to 2.5%,” Long said. “December’s increase in construction labor is a hopeful reminder that things will eventually get better for our severely depleted housing market,” realtor.com Senior Economist Joseph Kirchner said. “Jobs drive housing demand and with the unemployment rate remaining at its lowest level of the millennium, it's only going to pick up.” Another expert agreed, saying the increase in construction jobs was the one bright spot in Friday’s employment report. One expert explained this increase marked the highest point in construction jobs in seven years. “Construction employment increased by 210,000 in 2017, compared with a gain of 155,000 in 2016.” And while one expert said it’s important not to read too much into economic activity in December, the construction jobs increase, she said, is worth highlighting. “However, the late-year surge in construction jobs is worth highlighting.” “Construction jobs increased by 30,000 last month, ending 2017 with a total of 35% more jobs added than in the year before,” Richardson said. “As to the supply of homes, construction workers are needed,” said Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist. “In 2017, a net 190,000 new workers were employed in the construction industry, and that also marks a decelerating trend, as the prior three years averaged 284,000 annual additions.” “With the unemployment rate in the construction industry having fallen from over 20% in 2010 to 5.9% at the year-end of 2017, there could be a little growth to home construction despite the on-going housing shortage,” Yun said.