Canada: construction industry’s uptrend is expected to continue

Canada: construction industry’s uptrend is expected to continue
Published: 12 January 2010

Canada’s construction industry has been gaining jobs since August and the uptrend will continue as more infrastructure projects kick in, renovation and maintenance markets strengthen, and housing improves, the Construction Sector Council said yesterday in Ottawa.

"Construction didn’t take the recessionary hit that some other industries took and it’s well positioned to lead the way out of the downturn," said the council’s executive director, George Gritziotis.

"Government infrastructure projects will provide a buffer to offset losses the industry might otherwise have felt in some areas," Gritziotis said.

He said about 50 per cent of the stimulus programs will come in 2010 and 30 per cent in 2011, after 20 per cent was in 2009.

Construction investment in 2009 declined by less than 10 per cent and is expected to rebound in 2010 to reach the peak level of 2008.

Roads, bridges, heavy construction, and the commercial and institutional sectors are expected to provide good job growth this year. Demand is expected to be strong for labour, including concrete finishers, commercial construction estimators and managers, crane and heavy equipment operators, and mechanics, ironworkers, welders, pipefitters and other tradesmen.

The utility sector will be driving construction work in Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba this year and oilsands projects in Alberta. Recruiting and training will continue to be top priorities. (Edited report The Montreal Gazette).