The Commerce Department says builders began work on a seasonally-adjusted 629,000 homes last month -- a 14.6 percent increase from May.
That's roughly half the number economists say must be built for a healthy economy.
The National Association of Home Builders says every new home generates three jobs for a year, and also brings in $90 in taxes.
News on existing home sales was not as encouraging.
Fewer people bought previously owned homes in June.
The rate of this year's existing home sales is on a pace to be the worst in 14 years.