Contract Glazier Activity off to Good Start in 2020

Glass- and glazing-related nonresidential construction increased on a monthly and yearly basis to start the year, according to Key Media & Research (KMR).

Nonresidential construction increased 5.1% in January 2020 compared to January 2019 and was up 1.6% from December 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. When adjusted with KMR’s industry-focused models, the value of nonresidential glass- and glazing-related activity ticked up by 1.3% year-over-year and increased 0.3% on a monthly basis.

When factoring in multifamily construction, glass and glazing activity Increased 1% for the year and 0.7% for the month.

Commercial Glazing Activity

Contract glaziers saw a 2.6% increase in the value of commercial work from January 2019 to January 2020. Commercial activity bumped up 0.4% in January from the previous month.

The office segment improved 2.7% year-over-year and was up 0.3% on a monthly basis, while lodging saw a yearly decline of 7.6% and a month-over-month dip of 3.8%. The other major glass-relevant “commercial” subsector, which includes retail, increased yearly and monthly by 5.2% and 1.5%, respectively.

Institutional Glazing Activity

Institutional building was mostly flat. Glazing contractors saw a slight dip of 0.2% in this type of work in January 2020 compared to January 2019 and edged up 0.1% from a month ago.

The largest subsector in this category, educational building, was down 0.7% for the year and 0.3% for the month. Healthcare, another very relevant institutional segment to the glass and glazing industry, saw a yearly decline of 4.1% and a monthly decline of 0.4%.

Industry Employment

Employment in the industry continues to increase. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors, which include glaziers and ironworkers, saw a 3.6% increase in employment in January from a year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Average hourly earnings in construction are up 3% from the same time last year.

Nick St. Denis is the director of research for Key Media & Research, parent company of USGlass magazine

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