Manitoba’s construction slowdown impacts labour force


Ottawa – After more than a decade of expansion, construction activity and employment will steadily recede across Manitoba as major projects wind down and new home building eases, according to the latest labour market forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

“While the construction workforce is expected to decline by a modest 7 percent from now to 2027, employment will stay near record levels this decade,” said Bill Ferreira, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “Following a decade of strong growth, sustaining capital and maintenance, as well as home renovation work, will create many new jobs and help to support the construction workforce during this period.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2018–2027 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows that the completion of major hydro and other utility-related projects will translate into a steady slide in engineering construction employment until 2023. While rising manufacturing investment strengthens industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) building investments this year, further ICI building construction should be limited by slower population growth, which will also ease demand for new housing activity between now and 2024. Construction employment should remain at relatively high levels across the forecast period, as non-residential maintenance and home renovation work continues to rise.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • Growth in home renovation adds an estimated 1,200 jobs, partially offsetting a loss of 1,900 jobs in new home construction.
  • Non-residential employment is expected to decline by 1,900 jobs through to 2027.
  • Up to 19 percent of the current workforce is retiring over the next 10 years.

“As many as 8,200 new workers are needed this decade to help counter baby boom retirements,” added Ferreira. “This is the time to focus recruitment efforts not only on young people and skilled immigrants, but also on underrepresented groups, including Indigenous people and women.”

BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce. Visit www.constructionforecasts.ca.

For further information, contact Bill Ferreira, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, at Ferreira@buildforce.ca or (613)-569-5552 ext. 222.

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program