Latest Industry Employment and Construction Figures Mostly Positive

Spending on glass- and glazing-related construction increased in 2018, though at a moderately lower rate than overall construction, according to Key Media & Research analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Total construction spending increased 1.6 percent in 2018 compared to 2017 on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate, the Census Bureau most recent report shows. Growth was hampered by the residential sector, which recorded a 1.5-percent dip for the year. Overall nonresidential construction increased 4 percent.

Nonresidential glass- and glazing-related spending grew by 2.6 percent in 2018 versus the previous year. Significant gains were made in the office and lodging segments, though the other “commercial” category, which includes retail construction, declined.

On the institutional side, glass and glazing work increased in the educational segment, but decreased in the healthcare sector.

In another report, from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment connected to the glass and glazing industry declined in February 2019 from the previous month, but is still up from a year ago. The nonresidential specialty trade contractors sector, which includes glaziers and ironworkers, saw a 4.2-percent decline in jobs from January to February, but employment in this category is up 3.2 percent from the same time last year.

Despite a notable monthly decline, overall construction employment was 3.1-percent greater in February 2019 than February 2018, and average hourly earnings are up by the same rate.

Employment in nonmetallic minerals manufacturing, which includes flat glass, also declined for the month but increased year-over-year.

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