Making it easier for industry to navigate the labour market

New reports and analytical models will add even greater depth to our labour market information, further enhancing its value to the industry.

BuildForce is expanding its suite of labour market information (LMI) products and tools to provide even more accurate and timely insights into the demands, pressures and opportunities driving construction activity across 33 trades and occupations – ultimately helping industry make more informed workforce-management decisions. These new tools will complement our existing LMI resources, including the national summary reports, province-specific highlight reports and PowerPoint presentations, and labour market forecast datasets available at

Brand-new residential report

The story of Canada’s construction labour market has been largely driven by natural resources. Yet there are many market dynamics unique to other types of construction, including residential construction. BuildForce’s New Home Building and Renovation LMI Committee, composed of groups like the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA), has looked at how we could better respond to their labour market planning needs. The result: a report specific to residential construction, packed with labour market indicators not found anywhere else.
“Given the skills shortages across Canada, it’s crucial to gain an understanding of where the skills gaps exist now and where they will be in the years to come,” says Kevin Lee, CHBA’s CEO. “A comprehensive, residential- focused report can help direct resources, programming and policies to best address the issues facing the sector.”
To be released in the spring, the Residential Report will become an annual publication complementing other BuildForce LMI resources.

Highlighting the importance of construction

Whether you’re addressing policymakers or marketing to students, numbers are essential to making your case. That’s why we’re creating a new report about the importance of construction to Canada – a document that clearly summarizes the sector’s contributions to the national and provincial economies. This paper will be available in the spring.

Improved maintenance model

Large industrial buildings are subject to cycles of shutdowns, turnarounds and outages in which certain components are periodically closed for maintenance, imposing seasonal peaks during which labour demand can triple over a short period of time.
To help our stakeholders more accurately assess labour market conditions in their regions, we’ve developed a new analytical model that measures seasonal variations in maintenance demand instead of calculating annual averages. This will help future forecasts tell a more complete story of how market pressures vary across the industrial sector. We will be testing the effectiveness of this model over the next few months and will incorporate this data into the 2015 forecast.

Sharing LMI success around the world

BuildForce’s LMI Program is known for its depth and quality of information – and has captured the attention of experts south of the border.
For the past few years, BuildForce has participated in an advisory role on a U.S. industry committee composed of owners, contractors and labour to assess the feasibility of establishing an American equivalent to our LMI Program. Being able to track similar labour market data across both countries will help us better identify the market pressures and potential worker mobility opportunities affecting the construction industries on both sides of the border.

”BuildForce’s approach to forecasting construction demand sets the standard for North America,” says Dale Belman, President of the Institute of Construction Economics Research. “Not only is its LMI model technically sophisticated, but the high level of interaction between its provincial committees allows forecasts to be continuously improved while also educating stakeholders about the construction economy. The U.S. construction industry would do well if it can follow the path forged by BuildForce.”

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