Building costs are responding to the recession in nonresidential construction. In November 2009, the cost index for office building construction from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was down 4.2% from the beginning of the year, which in turn was down 2.8% from the level of November 2008. The decline in building costs reflects a steep drop in construction activity. Through the first 10 months of last year, total construction put-in-place for private office building work was down 27% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.