20090616 construction housing starts 18
A construction worker measures a window as he works on a new home at the Olson Homes Garden Walk development in Hayward, Calif. - 


Bill Radke: How is America's construction industry recovering, if at all? Well, we'll know more this morning when the Commerce Department releases its report for July. Overall, builders were probably spending a bit less than in June, but there's expected to be a bright spot: residential construction. And here's Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman with more.

Mitchell Hartman: Construction spending is expected to be up for single-family homes. That's sparked in part by first-time home buyers attracted by low prices and government tax credits.

For the past year, construction jobs have been vanishing and small contractors going out of business. Economist Brian Bethune of IHS Global Insight says that's starting to turnaround.

Brian Bethune: I don't know that we're going to see much in terms of gains in construction jobs, but at a minimum it's going to help keep some of those tradesmen a little busier than what they were.

Tradesmen like carpenter Jarrett Maxwell. He's trying to get his cabinetmaking business off the ground in Oklahoma City.

Jarrett Maxwell: Earlier this year, I was working sometimes as little as a few hours a week. Right now, I've got probably two or three jobs lined up, and it seems to be a little more steady.

Economist Brian Bethune says as the big homebuilders begin to rebound, there's likely to be more work for everyone.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

Follow Mitchell Hartman at @entrepreneurguy