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Construction and maintenance looking forward

Construction activity in Canada is expected to edge slightly higher in 2017 following small declines over the past two years, but growth is uneven as many construction markets across the country continue to move in different directions. Looking forward, total construction employment is mostly unchanged across the 2017–2026 scenario period; down 2 percent in 2026 compared to 2016, with larger declines anticipated in residential (down 7 percent) that are partially offset by moderate gains in non-residential (up 3 percent). While changes in employment vary significantly by province, there is an overall trend to slower growth over the long term. Sustaining workforce capacity, while addressing an aging workforce – more than 20 percent of workers expected to retire over the next decade – may become increasingly difficult. As population growth slows and fewer youth are available to enter the workforce, construction must compete against other industries that are facing similar demographic challenges.