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B.C.’s Construction Industry Built to Buffer Recession

May 26, 2009

Construction Sector Front and Centre at Labour Market Symposium

Vancouver – British Columbia’s construction industry will weather the recession better than many other industries thanks to government infrastructure spending, the Construction Sector Council (CSC) announced today at the B.C. Construction Labour Market Symposium. Labour and industry representatives from across the province are meeting to find ways of ensuring this key sector is ready for the next wave of construction.

While the economic downturn has affected residential and commercial construction projects, major projects have been planned in the mining, manufacturing and utility industries.

“According to our scenario, these projects, coupled with the governments’ infrastructure projects will help to boost employment growth in B.C.’s construction industry over the next few years,” said George Gritziotis, Executive Director of the Construction Sector Council. “Despite the downturn in the economy, there are opportunities for B.C.’s skilled trades’ workers.”

These are the highlights of the Construction Sector Council’s (CSC) annual edition of “Construction Looking Forward,” a detailed forecast of labour market trends from 2009 to 2017 for British Columbia.

Over the short term government-related construction, especially with strong infrastructure stimulus programs, will play an important role in creating employment opportunities. As economic conditions improve with the return of consumer and business confidence, construction activity will expand on several fronts throughout the forecast period.

”We’re fortunate that few sectors will ride out the recession as well as British Columbia’s construction industry,” said Manley McLachlan, President of the BC Construction Association.

The report finds that 26,000 new workers will be required from now until 2017 to replace retiring baby boomers. Another 6,400 workers will be needed to meet the medium to long- term rise in construction activity.

“This is the time for the construction industry to plan for the future,” said Wayne Peppard, Executive Director of the BC Building Trades. “Industry and government must focus on improving skills, increasing mobility, and recruiting young talent so that the construction industry is a driving force through the ups and downs of the economy.”

The Construction Sector Council is Canada’s most reliable source for labour market forecasting and commentary. The CSC is a national organization committed to supporting the future needs of Canada’s construction industry through a highly skilled workforce.

The CSC’s “Construction Looking Forward” national and regional forecasts provide governments, colleges, labour and industry with accurate information on labour supply and demand to ensure Canada’s construction industry remains a leading sector in Canada’s economy.

B.C’s Construction Looking Forward Scenario 2009-2017 will be available in the coming weeks along with a summary from the BC Labour Market Symposium and all forecast scenario data at www.constructionforecasts.ca

For Further Information Contact:

Scott Brownrigg
Sussex Strategy Group
Cell (416) 277- 8847

Rosemary Sparks
Construction Sector Council
Cell (416) 271-2633