New projects, retirements complicate New Brunswick’s construction labour market
March 17, 2015 by STAFF REPORT
Major new projects planned for next year, from the East Energy Pipeline to mining and marine terminal building, will create tight labour markets in the province, according to the latest forecast from BuildForce Canada.
“The industry needs to plan now to meet the workforce requirements in 2017 and again in 2020,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “That’s when projects will peak, making it essential to attract and train young people and convince local workers who’ve left to come back.”
BuildForce Canada’s 2015-2024 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows both housing and new resource projects will start a new, limited expansion from 2016 to 2020. Following declines in 2014 and 2015, residential construction picks up in the medium term and then drops off as housing starts slow over the long term. General economic growth that creates steady employment gains in commercial and institutional work are partly catch-up after significant job losses in 2011 and 2012.
BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows shifts across markets:
- Residential employment falls, driven by declines in new housing, while residential renovation work grows steadily from now to 2024 to partially offset the decline in new housing.
- Industrial commercial and institutional building construction rises modestly, while proposed major engineering projects raises employment to 2021 and then declines as projects wind down.
- To offset rising retirements, industry will need to recruit an estimated 7,200 new workers across the scenario period.
“Construction retirements this decade will be higher in New Brunswick than in any other province,” added Sparks. “Recruitment will have to take precedence to fill those positions and make up for the loss of a generation’s worth of experience.”
BuildForce Canada is a national industry-led organization that represents all sectors of Canada’s construction industry. Its mandate is to provide accurate and timely labour market data and analysis, as well as programs and initiatives to help manage workforce requirements and build the capacity and the capability of Canada’s construction and maintenance workforce. Visit: www.constructionforecasts.ca
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