Construction employment increases; available jobs decline
By Adam FreillConstruction Labour
Overall employment off slightly, but StatCan is reporting a rise in construction employment in April, alongside a drop in unfilled positions.
Employment in Canada’s construction sector grew in April, despite a slip in the total number of payroll employees across all sectors included in the latest Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours by Statistics Canada.
The construction increased by 3,700 workers, gaining back the drop of 3,700 experienced in March. Within the sector, specialty trade contractors and heavy and civil engineering construction recorded the largest monthly gains, rising 2,200 and 1,500, respectively. Within heavy and civil engineering construction, employment increased by 5,200, or 2.8 per cent, from January to April 2023.
Across the full list of sectors in the survey, employment decreased by 25,100 positions in April, excluding federal government public administration. Federal government public administration recorded a decline of 115,200, or 30.5 per cent, which was associated with strike action in April. Most of that decline is expected to be temporary, however.
According to Statistics Canada, growth in payroll employment has moderated since the beginning of 2023. The decline in April followed cumulative increases of 48,900 in February and March. In comparison, payroll employment in the previous five-month period generally trended upwards, with cumulative gains of 279,700 from September 2022 to January 2023.
Meanwhile, job vacancies edged down to 790,900 in April. Since January 2023, the overall number of job vacancies has fallen by 72,700, a decline of 8.4 per cent. The construction sector saw 9,000 fewer open jobs in April, a drop of almost 13 per cent, hitting 60,400, following little change in February and March. The job vacancy rate in the sector declined by 0.7 percentage points to 5.0 per cent in April, the lowest since May of 2021 when the rate hit 4.9 per cent.