Contract Glaziers See Slight Uptick in June From Year Ago

The value of glass- and glazing-related construction in the U.S. continued to flatten out in June, according to Key Media & Research (KMR) analysis of recent government data.

KMR estimates the value of work by glazing contractors in nonresidential building was up a slight 1% in June 2019 compared to the same time a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. Nonresidential construction as a whole increased 2.3% over the same span, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Segment Breakdown

Lodging remains a strong category for glazing contractors, having seen an 8.7% increase from a year ago. Office building was even better, with an 8.9% uptick in spending. However, the other “commercial” category, which includes retail and several key subsectors to architectural glass and glazing, pulled back 10.7%.

The institutional grouping was a mixed bag, as educational construction declined 0.7% year-over-year while healthcare increased 2.1%.

Glass-related nonresidential construction was down 1.2% in June compared to May, and overall nonresidential building also declined month-over-month, by 1.8%. Two of the five subcategories noted above (healthcare and educational) saw month-over-month declines.

Residential construction dipped 8% from June 2018 to June 2019.

When spending in multifamily construction is included, the overall value of glass and glazing work was down 1% for the month and 2.3% for the year.

Industry Employment

The recently released employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests the glass and glazing industry continues to add jobs.

According to the BLS, nonresidential specialty trades contractors, which include glaziers, increased employment by 4.2% from July 2018 to July 2019. Hourly earnings in construction are also up by 2.8%.

*Nick St. Denis is the director of research at Key Media & Research (KMR), parent company of USGlass magazine.

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