On-Site Magazine

Construction sector posts employment gains in March

By Adam Freill   

Construction Labour

Statistics Canada reports a second consecutive monthly rise in payroll employment in the construction sector; fewer available positions.

Payroll employment increased in 11 sectors in March. (Sources: Statistics Canada, Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (2612), table 14-10-0220-01.)

Payroll employment in construction rose by 2,600 in March, reports Statistics Canada in its latest Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours. This followed a gain of 6,700 positions in February. There was little change in the sector’s numbers from October 2023 to January 2024. On a year-over-year basis, payroll employment in the construction sector was up by 16,100 positions, or 1.4 per cent in March.

By segment, monthly gains posted in March were 1,300 in non-residential building construction, 1,100 in highway, street and bridge construction, 1,100 in other specialty trade contractors, and 700 in utility system construction. These gains were partially offset a decline of 800 in residential building construction, 400 in foundation, structure and building exterior contracting, and 300 in building finishing contracting.

Nationally across all industries, payroll employment rose by 51,400 in March following an increase of 14,600 in February. On a year-over-year basis, payroll employment was up by 232,100, or 1.3 per cent, in March. Meanwhile, job vacancies in Canada decreased by 40,600. The 6.2 per cent drop brought the number of available positions to 610,700 in March. That has been largest decline since September of 2023. Compared with March of 2023, total job vacancies were down 24 per cent, a drop of 192,800 positions.

In March, job vacancies decreased by 11,000 in construction, a fall of just over 19 per cent. Compared to the same month a year earlier, construction has shed 22,600 vacant positions, or a decrease of 32.6 per cent. The number of job vacancies in the sector was sitting at 46,700 in March, the lowest level since December of 2020.


The job vacancy rate in the sector was 3.8 per cent in March, down 0.9 percentage points from February and 1.8 percentage points lower than a year earlier.




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