Mark Fleming Fleming: “Finding ways to increase the productivity of construction workers is critically important to alleviating the labor-shortage challenge and the gap between household formation and homebuilding.”

SANTA ANA, CA—Despite the encouraging number of residential-construction jobs being added to the US market in December 2017, productivity needs to increase in order to meet inventory demand for housing, First American Financial Corp.’s chief economist Mark Fleming says. The firm reports that housing jobs increased by 8,200 to a level of 780,000 in December, a 1.1% increase over November and a 3.6% increase over a year ago.