Latest Economic Reports Signal Busy Times for Glazing Contractors

Construction spending continues to increase in building segments that are important to the glass and glazing industry, according to analysis of new Census Bureau data by Key Media & Research (KMR). At the same time, the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests employment in the industry is also up.

Construction

The value of construction put in place, on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, was just over $1.3 trillion in April. This was up 1.8 percent from the previous month and 7.6 percent from the same time last year.

According to KMR’s projections, glass-related construction grew at an equal rate from March 2018 to April 2018, but it increased by 9.1 percent compared to April 2017. This was due to strong upticks in the most glass-relevant categories.

The five key nonresidential building segments for glass and glazing—lodging, office, commercial, healthcare and educational—all saw increases year-over-year. Lodging led the way with an 18.8-percent surge from the previous year, followed by office (8.9 percent) and commercial (5.6 percent).

Employment

Nonresidential specialty trade contractors, which include glaziers and ironworkers, increased employment by 4.7 percent from May 2017 to May 2018. That category saw a 0.6-percent uptick from April to May.

Overall construction employment was up 4.1 percent during the past 12 months, and average hourly earnings in the industry are up 3.2 percent from the same time last year.

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