Construction Spending and Employment Up from Year Ago

Glass and glazing-related construction spending is up on a year-over-year basis despite edging down slightly in March compared to February, according to analysis by Key Media & Research (KMR) of new Census Bureau Data. Meanwhile, the most recent jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests employment in the sector increased last month.

Construction

The value of construction put in place, on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, was $42.2 billion in March. This was down 1.7 percent from the previous month but up 3.6 percent from the previous year.

Glass-related construction, however, declined 2.2 percent for the month but increased 5.6 percent year-over-year, according to KMR’s projections.

Five nonresidential building segments significant to glass and glazing—lodging, office, commercial, healthcare and educational—all saw increases from March 2017 to March 2018. Lodging led the way with an 11.8-percent bump from the previous year, followed by commercial (8.1 percent) and office (5 percent).

Three of those five segments—lodging, commercial and healthcare—saw decreases in March from the previous month.

Employment

Nonresidential specialty trade contractors, which include glaziers and ironworkers, increased employment by 3.9 percent from April 2017 to April 2018. That category saw a 0.3-percent uptick from March to April.

Overall construction employment was up 3.7 percent during the past 12 months, and hourly earnings in the industry are up 3.5 percent from the same time last year. The industry’s unemployment rate fell to 6.5 percent.

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