Construction Jobs on the Rise in Manitoba
Construction will continue to be a leading industry in Manitoba over the next decade with the new residential home building and electrical utility sectors reaching record high employment levels. Industrial, commercial, and institutional construction will also see steady gains.
The Construction Sector Council’s (CSC’s) report Construction Looking Forward, 2012 to 2020 Key Highlights for Manitoba, released this week, says that the Manitoba construction industry is entering a second decade of strong expansion. Strong gains in both residential and non-residential markets will keep unemployment rates low, and industry may face challenges meeting the expanding demand requirements over the next several years.
The non-residential construction sector continues to exhibit steady growth driven by a number of major utilities projects underway and scheduled. “The proposed construction projects translate into strong demand requirements with industry facing the risk of potential skill shortages and recruiting challenges over the next few years,” Dave Martin, executive director of the Allied Hydro Council of Manitoba, said in a release.
“Industry stakeholders will need to carefully manage worker mobility, not only across projects, but across provinces,” he said, noting that “the industry has experience in the recent past with recruiting skilled workers from other markets.”
The construction labour force is estimated to rise by 9,100 workers from 2012 to 2020 in response to increased construction activity, and 6,900 workers are expected to retire. Industry will need to recruit 16,000 workers over the next decade to meet industry demand requirements. Sustained recruiting efforts that target a variety of sources, including youth, women, Aboriginal people, other industries and immigrants will continue to be a priority for the industry.
“Clearly, labour markets will continue to be tight and stakeholders are focusing on apprenticeship, industry training and immigration processes to help meet emerging requirements,” said Ron Hambley, executive VP of the Winnipeg Construction Association. “These types of programs must remain a priority, as construction will be in competition with other industries and regions for workers.”