National Association of Home Builders data should be taken with a grain of salt, but for what it's worth, their numbers show the Multifamily Production Index above 50 (meaning an improving situation) for the third straight quarter and the Multifamily Vacancy Index staying nice and low:
The Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI), which measures the multifamily housing industry's perception of vacancies, dropped three points 33. With the MVI, lower numbers indicate fewer vacancies. After peaking at 70 in the second quarter of 2009, the MVI declined consistently through 2010 and has been at a fairly low level throughout 2011 and 2012.
This all ought to be good news for people with building trade skills, and it's certainly consistent with the Census Bureau's housing starts data. But as we saw with last week's employment report, there's thus far no sign that the uptick in building activity is leading to an uptick in construction hiring.