New forecast says Ontario has the tools to meet rising demand for construction workers | ConstruForce Canada

New forecast says Ontario has the tools to meet rising demand for construction workers

THUNDER BAY – Ontario is well equipped to handle the need for more than 85,000 new construction workers during the next nine years as detailed in the new forecast released today by the Construction Sector Council (CSC).

Construction Looking Forward: Labour Requirements from 2007 to 2015 for Ontario, says the province’s construction industry will need 50,000 workers to replace retirees and another 35,000 to keep pace with steady growth during the forecast period.

The report predicts average annual growth of 3% in the residential sector and 2% in the non-residential sector in the period leading up to 2015.

According to the forecast, attracting, recruiting and training the needed workforce at this pace will be a manageable challenge for employers, labour groups and training institutions. The report examines Ontario’s construction industry in five regions, Greater Toronto, Central, Northern, Eastern and the Southwest.

Construction Looking Forward: Labour Requirements from 2007 to 2015 for Ontario, says regional mobility within the province will help balance the need for workers but warns that Ontario’s labour markets could be disturbed in the short term as workers seek job opportunities in tighter labour markets, such as the Western provinces.

The CSC produced the forecast with input from all sectors of the construction industry and government through the region’s Labour Market Information (LMI) Committee.

Construction Looking Forward forecasts will be released for each province over the coming weeks.

Ron McGillis, Manager - Safety, Compliance & Contractor Quality, Ontario Power Generation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Construction User Council says, “The Ontario report, which looks at factors that affect labour requirements – such as investment and retirement rates – gives industry leaders the insight needed to achieve continued prosperity in the Ontario construction industry.”

"The LMI report helps us project opportunities for attracting Canadian youth, unemployed and displaced workers from other sectors into the construction industry so we can meet the needs of Ontario's economy," said Patrick Dillon, Business Manager and Secretary Treasurer, Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario and a member of CSC’s Board of Directors.

“With housing starts expected to remain above long term averages and home renovations in Ontario expected to rise steadily during the forecast period, the housing industry must make recruitment and training a priority,” says Brian Johnston, President, Ontario Home Builders’ Association. “The labour market information in this CSC forecast is critical for our planning as we develop programs that are specific to our sector.”

“The increasing need for more construction workers in Ontario and across Canada compels industry and governments to target their efforts to ensure all potential workers, including Aboriginal peoples, women, youth, unemployed and underemployed workers and immigrant workers are part of a thoughtful and comprehensive solution,’’ says CSC Executive Director George Gritziotis.

A new feature to this year’s Construction Looking Forward report allows stakeholders to perform customized data searches online. This tool will help individuals source out the exact data that is relevant to their needs.

The Construction Sector Council was established in 2001 as an independent labour/business partnership to address the workforce needs of the construction industry. The CSC is a neutral forum that brings together stakeholders to provide data that industry can use to make critical planning decisions. CSC provides this data to industry who undertake their own analysis. The Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program provided funding for this project.

The report is available on the CSC website at

Patrick Dillon, Business Manager and Secretary Treasurer
Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario
Tel (416) 679-8887
Cell (416) 347-8245

Ron Martin, Executive Director
Sudbury Construction Association
(705) 673-5619

Rosemary Sparks
Construction Sector Council
(613) 569-5552