Despite the well-documented plunge in residential real estate, private non-residential construction was still robust in November, as the chart below shows (click to enlarge). Spending came in at a record $375.8 billion annualized; by comparison, private residential construction in the same month was $484.9 billion annualized. Therefore, non-residential construction is a very important sector for the economy, almost as important as housing.
The breakdown by type of construction is shown below (click to enlarge).
Data: Census Bureau
With 50% of the activity concentrated in commercial space, offices and hotels, a recession will result in further woes for the real estate sector and the banks that finance it.