Rising retirements create opportunities in PEI’s construction workforce

January 31, 2018

Ottawa – A rapidly aging workforce, higher levels of immigration, and an increase in institutional and commercial building construction are expected to help drive job growth in PEI’s construction industry this decade, according to the latest labour market forecast released today by BuildForce Canada.

“As many as 1,300 new construction workers are needed to help offset retirements over the next 10 years,” said Bill Ferreira, Executive Director of BuildForce Canada. “As the pool of younger workers shrinks, new Canadians, workers from other industries, and underrepresented groups, including Indigenous people and women, will need to play an ever-increasing role in building the province’s construction workforce.”

BuildForce Canada’s 2018–2027 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast shows that after 2017’s record-setting year for housing starts, momentum in the industry is expected to continue this year before residential construction eases. Residential renovation and maintenance work should also continue to climb steadily, as will commercial and institutional building activity, which is expected to increase related employment by 34 percent this decade. Engineering activity is expected to slow this year with the completion of the Maritime Electric project, before rising again later in the scenario period. By 2027, total construction employment should be approximately 4 percent higher than current levels.

BuildForce Canada’s forecast also shows:

  • Up to 22 percent of the construction workforce is expected to retire this decade.
  • Non-residential employment should rise 17 percent at the end of the decade, adding 400 jobs.
  • Residential employment declines and then rises after 2023, resulting in 200 fewer workers at the end of the forecast period.

“This decade, the focus shifts from new housing to non-residential construction as the primary employment driver,” added Ferreira. “Most of those job gains are anticipated this year, which makes worker mobility between sectors and provinces key to meeting labour demands.”

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.

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

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program