Proposed Resource Projects Sustain Non-Residential Construction

January 18, 2016

Saskatchewan – This year marks the start of a new, but more moderate growth phase in non-residential construction in Saskatchewan, with employment driven by major mining and infrastructure projects, as well as steady gains in maintenance work in the near term, according to the latest labour market forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

“While resource development is slowing, there is still momentum,” said Rosemary Sparks, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “We’re seeing two very distinct trends, with residential building declining and non-residential building sustained at high levels, although much depends on the timing of proposed major projects.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2016‒2025 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows that after stalling last year, non-residential construction will expand from 2016 to 2021, creating 4,000 jobs. As projects wind down after 2021, engineering-related work declines, with job losses offset by moderate growth in industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) building construction. The housing downturn is expected to continue, with the residential workforce dropping back to the pre-2011 level of 13,000 workers. Overall, employment declines by 3,100 jobs, or 7 percent, by the end of the scenario period in 2025, driven primarily by the decline in new housing.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • From 2016 to 2025, employment in non-residential construction is relatively unchanged, with a small gain of 400 non-residential jobs.
  • As new housing slows, residential construction employment declines by 3,500 workers over the scenario period.
  • Almost 18 percent of the construction workforce is expected to retire over the next 10 years.

“Saskatchewan’s construction workforce is experiencing a demographic shift,” added Sparks. “The industry will need to recruit young people to replace as many as 8,800 skilled workers reaching retirement 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