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Labour Market Information

Buildforce's Residential Construction Labour Market Forecast

BuildForce Canada, with whom CHBA works extensively, affirmed in their 2022 Residential report that there continue to be tremendous career opportunities available for young people in Canada’s residential construction industry. The report outlines how an aging labour work force and the expected retirement of some 22% of the labour force in the coming decade, equating to approximately 128,000 workers, will continue to be a key driver of demand for workers in the sector. The strong rise in housing starts in 2021 pushed residential construction employment higher, increasing by almost 50,000 workers from 2020 levels and bringing total residential construction employment in Canada to just over 554,900 workers for the year. And while this growth is positive, if the industry is to double its output moving forward, much more labour will be required. It is also important to note that BuildForce Canada’s reports have shown for years that there is a large gap between domestic sources of new labour (i.e. first-time new entrants from the local population aged 30 and younger) and labour force needs.

In recent times only about two thirds of the required labour force needs have been predicted to be available from traditional domestic sources, causing tight labour markets and worker shortfalls, pointing to the need for more workers from underrepresented groups from immigration and to the need for increased productivity. It is also important to note that the BuildForce forecast does not factor in the dramatic need for more housing supply to address Canada’s housing shortfall and affordability issues, as demonstrated by federal government’s estimates of the need of an additional 3.5 million more housing units over the coming decade; this will require doubling the number of homes built over the next 10 years, requiring significantly more labour. Increased efforts in renovation to meet the government’s emission reduction targets will also require more labour, though like increasing starts, due to the timing of these announcements, these measures fell outside of the scope of the BuildForce forecast.

BuildForce Residential Summary 2021 Report

This all points to a sector that where more labour will be in high demand for the foreseeable future, creating strong career opportunities for those who enter the field. Read BuildForce’s full Residential Summary 2022-2031 report here.