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TheStreet Open House

Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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US home building is surging, but job growth isn't

The resurgent U.S. housing market has sent builders calling again for Richard Vap, who owns a drywall installation company. Vap would love to help â¿¿ if he could hire enough qualified people.

"There is a shortage of manpower," says Vap, owner of South Valley Drywall in Littleton, Colo. "We're probably only hiring about 75 or 80 percent of what we actually need."

U.S. builders and the subcontractors they depend on are struggling to hire fast enough to meet rising demand for new homes. Builders would be starting work on more homes â¿¿ and contributing more to the economy â¿¿ if they could fill more job openings.

In the meantime, workers in the right locations with the right skills are commanding higher pay.

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Record profit signals healthier Fannie Mae

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Fannie Mae said something Thursday that would have been unthinkable a few years ago: It earned a record $58.7 billion profit in the January-March quarter.

And it made clear it's on the cusp of repaying taxpayers for one of the most expensive bailouts of a single company in the financial crisis.

For Fannie, the future hasn't looked this bright since 2006.

More Americans are buying homes. Prices are rising at their fastest rate since the housing bubble burst. Banks are lending only to the most qualified buyers. And many fewer homes are falling into foreclosure.

All of that is a boon to Fannie and its smaller sibling Freddie Mac, which own or guarantee half of all U.S. mortgages and back nearly 90 percent of new ones. When people buy homes and nearly all pay their mortgage bills, Fannie and Freddie can't help but make piles of money.

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YouTube launches pay channels with campy flicks

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