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Construction Industry in Canada Shows New Life

Already known as a strong point of the Canadian economy, Canada’s construction industry continues to show promise for boosts in employment. New movements around the country are likely to lead directly to a marked increase in payroll staff.
The Canadian construction industry from 2009 to 2013 has been strong, and its growth will only continue in the near future, according to a recent Research and Markets report. In that period, the construction industry achieved a compound annual growth rate of 8.43 percent, supported largely by both private and public investments in several different corners of the market. Infrastructure, residential and industrial construction were all propped up by the market's growth and the outlook for further advance is positive, as the Canadian government has announced a focus on improving the country's construction standards further.

Other pressing portions of the market are expected to bring Canada's infrastructure to a new compound annual growth rate of about 5 percent through 2018. While that figure is a decline from the previous period of growth seen, it still has plenty of room for action in coming years. Its growth will be led by a significant investment in lower-cost residential projects that can better develop the housing system, as well as a new building economic plan that can expand the country's available housing and building resources through nearly the end of the decade.
Specifically, total housing starts in urban areas are growing - while single-family starts fell by about 1,300 units from 2013 to 2014, multi-family units more than made up for them, rising by close to 5,000 units themselves. These starts, however, are expected to stabilize in the next few years, but will bring growth until further notice.

Growth partly due to partner industry
Reed Construction Data found that there's a certain trend that's becoming only more prominent over time. In the Canadian market, two of the nation's three provinces that are responsible for producing oil are the first and second-most popular regions that have seen increases in construction jobs. This employment hasn't just been seen on individual resource projects but in ancillary areas as well, helping provide better accommodations for new workers and their families alike.

Sasketchewan and Alberta have seen the most construction jobs added. In Sasketchewan, in the last year alone, more than 4,000 new jobs have been added, representing an 8.5 percent increase in positions. Alberta, specifically, has seen 18,300 new positions on the market with an overall expansion rate of 7.6 percent.

It's expected that this trend will only continue on its current path as owners in the manufacturing and oil production industries undertake facility expansions to better help them meet market demand. Capacity utilization rates are a major portion of that industry's growth, as reaching 85 percent is an industry benchmark for successful production levels.

New workers needed
This path in the industry is promising, but it will need a bevy of new workers before it is able to truly take advantage of the potential for growth. Studies from 2013 from construction industry association BuildForce Canada indicate that the country might see a shortfall of as many as 250,000 construction workers by the year 2021, most of them needed to replace more than 200,000 workers expected to retire in the next decade or so.

Overall, through 2021, the construction industry will see about 36,000 jobs being created. While residential construction will fall, non-residenti al construction will expand in that time. Filling those jobs may soon become a tall order.