Construction sectors that use lots of glass, including office and commercial buildings, saw double-digit increases in 2016, according to™’s examination of Bureau of Economic Analysis data released this week. This was followed by a positive January construction employment report—in terms of glazing-related fields—from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


While nonresidential construction increased 4.6 percent for the year on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, it was lifted by a 31-percent increase in the office segment, which totaled $75.8 billion in value put in place. This parallels optimism within the glass industry, as contract glaziers report in USGlass magazine’s 2017 Glass and Glazing Industry Outlook (to be released next week) that office building was the most robust sector for the industry in 2016 and will continue to strengthen this year.

Commercial buildings jumped 12 percent to $78.7 billion, and the lodging sector was strong in 2016, increasing 19.9 percent to $27.3 billion. Educational and healthcare construction also increased by 5 (to $90.6 billion) and 7.1 percent (to $41.9 billion), respectively.

On a monthly basis, office construction ticked up 1 percent, while commercial was up 0.6 percent. Healthcare construction also increased 0.6 percent for the month, while educational building fell 2.1 percent.

The transportation sector saw decreases of 6.5 and 1.4 percent yearly and monthly, respectively, while amusement and recreation construction was up 13 percent for the year but down .3 percent for the month.


The nonresidential building, nonresidential specialty trade contractors and residential specialty trade contractors categories, which all include glaziers and building exterior contractors, increased employment in January.

Employment in the nonresidential specialty trade contractors sector increased by 1.9 percent year-over-year, adding 44,200 jobs. It employed an additional 4,700 from December to January. The residential specialty trades picked up 83,300 jobs from January 2016 to January 2017 for a 4.5-percent increase, while increasing employment by 13,000 month-to-month.

The nonresidential building category added 1,800 jobs from January 2016 to January 2017, an increase of 0.2 percent. That segment added 3,900 jobs for the month.