Contract glazier activity was down both monthly and yearly in October, according to Key Media & Research (KMR) analysis of recent government data.
Nonresidential building in the U.S. decreased 0.7% from September 2019 to October 2019 but increased 1.4% from a year ago on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. However, when adjusted with KMR’s industry-focused models, the value of nonresidential glass- and glazing-related work declined a slight 0.3% for the month and saw a 1.9% dip year-over-year.
When factoring in multifamily construction, glass and glazing activity fell 0.4% for the month and 2.3% for the year.
Commercial Glazing Activity
Contract glaziers saw a notable drop in activity on the commercial side of nonresidential construction, with the value of ongoing work decreasing 1% from September to October and 5.6% from October 2018 to the same month this year.
The office segment barely declined by 0.1% month-over-month and increased 3.0% year-over-year. Lodging recorded a 1% decline from the previous month but was still up 0.4% from a year ago. The other major glass-relevant “commercial” subsector, which includes retail, witnessed a 2.4% dip from September to October and a large 16.3% decline in October 2019 compared to October 2018.
Institutional Glazing Activity
Institutional building continues to be more stable. Glazing contractors saw an uptick of 0.6% in this type of work in October compared to September and a 2.8% bump from the same time a year ago.
The largest subsector in this category, educational building, increased 1.6% for the month and 4% for the year. Healthcare, the second most relevant institutional segment to the glass and glazing industry, saw a monthly decline of 0.6% and a yearly increase of 1.2%.
Employment in the industry continues to increase, as has been the general trend for much of the past decade. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors, which include glaziers and ironworkers, saw a 3.4% bump in employment in November from a year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Average hourly earnings in construction are up 2.7% from the same time last year.
Nick St. Denis is the director of research for Key Media & Research, parent company of USGlass magazine.