Major Projects Keep Manitoba’s Construction Workforce Growing Strong

January 31, 2017

Major hydro, transmission and pipeline projects are expected to drive construction employment to a new high this year, with as many as 9,000 new workers needed this decade to keep pace with construction and baby boom retirements, according to the latest labour market forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

“This year marks the height of two years of strong construction growth in the province,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “When the current up cycle in hydro and transmission work winds down, a series of new projects will start. It’s a level of construction activity that requires new workers, especially as industry contends with an aging workforce.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2017-2026 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows construction activity reaching its highest point this year with major hydro and transmission projects, industrial and commercial building as well as mining, road, highway and bridgework all underway. As these projects wind down between 2018 and 2022, they’re offset by ongoing hydro work and the anticipated start of planned mining, pipeline and government infrastructure investments that result in a moderate rise in non-residential employment to 2026. New housing construction and home renovation work is on the rise this year, driving residential employment to a new high in 2022 before returning to current levels by the end of the forecast period. Construction employment in the province will remain at record levels for the next decade.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • Maintenance requirements rise over the next decade absorbing some of the declines in engineering construction work after 2022;
  • Women make up 3 percent of the province’s skilled construction workforce while 11 percent are Indigenous people;
  • Up to 19 percent of the construction workforce is retiring over the next 10 years.

“Industry needs to stay focused on attracting more women and Indigenous people to construction,” added Sparks. “They could make a big difference in helping to counter the loss of as many as 8,100 workers who are retiring this decade.”

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