By Nick St. Denis
The value of glazing contractor work in the U.S. was stronger in November 2019 than the same month a year before, according to Key Media & Research (KMR).
Nonresidential construction increased 5.1% in November 2019 compared to November 2018, even as construction decreased by 0.3% from September 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 3.6% year-over-year, despite a 0.6% dip on a monthly basis.
When factoring in multifamily construction, glass and glazing activity increased just 0.9% for the year and edged down 1.3% for the month.
Commercial Glazing Activity
Contract glaziers witnessed a 1.9% increase in the value of work from November 2018 to November 2019, a reversal from last month’s negative year-over-year report. However, commercial activity again decreased 1% from September to November.
The office segment jumped 8.2% year-over-year and was flat on a monthly basis, while lodging saw a yearly increase of 0.7% and a month-over-month decline of 3.5%. The other major glass-relevant “commercial” subsector, which includes retail, declined yearly and monthly by 4.3% and 1%, respectively.
Institutional Glazing Activity
Institutional building showed more positivity. Glazing contractors saw an uptick of 5.7% in this type of work in November 2019 compared to November 2018 and a slight dip of 0.2% from a month ago.
The largest subsector in this category, educational building, increased 7.2% for the year and decreased 0.4% for the month. Healthcare, the second most relevant institutional segment to the glass and glazing industry, saw a yearly increase of 5.1% and a monthly decline of 0.1%.
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 3.2% increase in employment in December from a year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Average hourly earnings in construction are up 2.3% from the same time last year.
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