Construction Workforce Feels Impact of Lower Oil Prices

January 18, 2016

Newfoundland and Labrador – Local construction employers in Newfoundland and Labrador are downsizing their workforces as major resource projects reach completion and others are delayed or cancelled, according to the latest labour market forecast released today from BuildForce Canada.

“The challenge is making sure enough skilled workers are available when projects are ready to move forward,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “Shifting project timelines have become the new norm for construction.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2016‒2025 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows labour requirements declining as large power and offshore oil development projects wind down between now and 2018. New offshore oil projects are expected to resume in 2020. Job losses in housing, commercial and institutional building construction from now to 2019 will be followed by renewed, but moderate growth, with hiring for renovation, maintenance, commercial and institutional building projects toward the end of the scenario period.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • a small decline in residential employment through 2019 before levelling off across the scenario period
  • the need to offset rising retirements as 6,300 baby boomers leave the industry over the next 10 years

“Construction employers must stay focused on recruiting, hiring and training as labour requirements and demographics shift, ” added Sparks. “With up to 24 percent of the workforce retiring this decade, that’s a lot of experience that isn’t easily replaced.”

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:

For further information, contact: Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, or (905)-852-9186

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program