Despite the fact that new construction of single family homes and apartments dropped by 8.9% at the end of the year, 2005 proved to be a banner year for this sector. These figures spiked total construction to its second highest level ever (topped only by figures from 1972). Even with the December falloff, levels reached record highs for the third straight year. A pdf of the complete construction report can be found here.
In other economic news, the Labor Department reported a drop in unemployment benefit claims, sinking to their lowest level since April 2000. For a complete report, see the following release from the Department of Labor .