Glass-Relevant Construction and Industry Employment Still Expanding

Nonresidential glass and glazing-related construction remains at elevated levels from a year ago, according to a Key Media & Research (KMR) analysis of the Census Bureau’s latest construction spending report.

The value of nonresidential glass and glazing work was flat from August to September but has increased 8.4 percent from September 2017 to September 2018 on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, KMR projects.

Overall nonresidential construction decreased 0.3 percent for the month but was up 8.9 percent year-over-year. Even the slight decline isn’t considered a concern given that August’s spending number was revised nearly a full percent higher than what was reported last month. Also in September, residential construction increased a half-percent month-over-month and ticked up 4.9 percent from the same time last year.

The lodging and office sectors remain the segment leaders in year-over-year change, with lodging construction spiking 16 percent from the same time last year and office construction jumping nearly 13 percent in terms of value.

INDUSTRY EMPLOYMENT

The positive construction spending report was followed by healthy construction employment numbers earlier this month. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nonresidential specialty trades contractors sector increased employment by 4.5 percent from October 2017 to October 2018. Employment in that group, which includes glaziers, ironworkers and building exterior contractors, increased 0.3 percent from September to October.

Also according to the BLS report, hourly earnings in construction are up nearly 4 percent from a year earlier.

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