New home building and major projects help sustain Saskatchewan’s construction workforce

January 31, 2018

Ottawa – Although construction activity in Saskatchewan is expected to slow over the near term, a recovery in new home construction, a rise in home renovation work, and the planned start of major new mining and utility projects will help sustain the province’s construction workforce at well above historical levels, according to the latest labour market forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

“Even during the current slow-growth period, it’s important to keep recruiting and training new workers for future projects,” said Bill Ferreira, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “While much depends on the timing of planned resource and utility projects, as many as 3,500 new workers may be needed between 2022 and 2027.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2018–2027 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows that commodity price uncertainty may result in engineering construction job losses through to 2021. New planned mining and utility projects, however, are expected to create additional opportunities and demand for many skilled trades between 2022 and 2024. A modest rise in institutional and commercial building construction expected after 2021 should contribute to steady employment growth in industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) building construction over the second half of the scenario period. Rising residential renovation work and a recovery in new housing by 2023 is expected to increase residential construction employment by 26 percent, or nearly 3,600 jobs across the remainder of the forecast period. Overall construction employment demands are expected to surpass current levels by 2023. 

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • Non-residential employment is expected to decline by 7 percent, or 2,300 jobs over the forecast period.
  • Renovation and maintenance work is likely to account for more than half of total residential employment.
  • The industry will need to replace up to 9,300 workers expected to retire within the next 10 years.

“This decade, Saskatchewan is anticipated to lose 19 percent of its skilled construction workforce to retirements,” added Ferreira. “It’ll take proactive planning to counter the loss of a generation’s worth of skill and 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

For further information, contact Bill Ferreira, Executive Director, BuildForce Canada, at or (613)-569-5552 ext. 222.

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program