Demand for Eastern Ontario construction workers to rise 7% by 2024: Report


With several major infrastructure and redevelopment projects underway across the National Capital Region, a new report is highlighting the projected shortage of skilled tradespeople facing local construction firms and contractors. 

BuildForce Canada, an industry organization, points to the second phase of Ottawa’s light-rail transit system, the Ottawa Hospital’s new Civic Campus and the revitalization of Parliament Hill’s Centre Block and other federal buildings in projecting that the region will require an extra 3,400 workers by 2024, a seven per cent increase over 2019 levels. Outside Ottawa, the report also highlights plans for the redevelopment of a Kingston hospital as another major project that will require large numbers of tradespeople.

Projecting out to 2029, BuildForce’s report states that Eastern Ontario will require an extra 10,800 new construction workers. With some 9,400 new workers aged 30 and below expected to join the industry over that time, BuildForce estimates a gap of roughly 1,400 workers who will need to be recruited to the region’s construction sector from other industries.

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Builders are expected to be busy across the residential and industrial, commercial and institutional sides of real estate, with peaks coming at different times. BuildForce expects employment in the residential construction market to peak at more than 25,000 individuals in 2022, with a gradual decline for the remainder of the decade.

On the non-residential side, BuildForce projects an extra 2,500 workers will be needed by 2024, when Phase Two of LRT is entering its most labour-intensive stage. The ICI labour market is expected to rise above 25,000 from 2023 through to 2028 before settling.

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