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US Housing Market Rises Strongly Over Past Year

FILE -- A sold sign is posted in front of a new home in Springfield, Illinois.
U.S. home prices rose at the fastest rate in eight years in 2013, but the gains have slowed recently.

Tuesday's Case-Shiller report showed housing prices rose more than 11 percent during the year. The report also showed prices falling slightly in recent months, however, as rising interest rates and foul winter weather slowed home sales.

Many economists expect home prices to rise more slowly this year than last.

Investors and economists watch housing closely because severe problems in this sector played a key role in the financial crisis.

The crisis also hit the job market hard, driving up the unemployment rate.

Recent college graduates still complain it is hard for some of them to find work.

Tuesday's study from Gallup shows that prospective employers say knowledge in a relevant field and applied skills are more important than a candidate's college or major.