Construction continues to add workers
By Adam FreillConstruction Labour
Fourth consecutive month of job gains reported in December, despite more than 77,000 vacancies waiting to be filled.
The construction sector added 11,500 jobs in December, representing more than 10 per cent of the total employment gains reported in StatCan’s latest survey of employment, payrolls and hours.
Across all sectors, the number of employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer (payroll employees) increased by a half-per-cent to come in at 91,400. Since September, cumulative overall employment figures have increased by 240,600 positions.
The one per cent monthly rise in payroll employment for the construction sector marked a fourth consecutive month of gains. The sector has added 40,600 jobs since September. Ontario and Alberta had the largest December jumps in the sector, adding 4,800 and 2,500 positions, respectively.
Nationally, monthly construction gains were driven by highway, street and bridge construction (2,700 new positions), foundation, structure, and building contractors (2,600 new positions) and building equipment contractors (2,100 new positions). Residential building construction was the only construction segment to record a month-over-month decline in December, losing 2,400 positions as residential building investments dipped by 2.1 per cent.
Year over year, average weekly earnings in the construction sector increased by three per cent in December, slightly behind the 3.7 per cent average across all sectors.
Overall job vacancies were little changed from November, staying level at just under 850,000, and well off the peak reached last May when employers were facing more than a million openings across the country.
In December, job vacancies held steady in 14 sectors, including in construction, which reported in with 77,400 openings.