As reported in the Winnipeg Free Press, after almost doubling over the past 15 years, employment in the construction industry in Manitoba is expected to decline by close to five percent over the upcoming decade.
Those are the findings from an annual study of the construction industry workforce by BuildForce Canada, a national organization that works with the construction industry to assist with its management of workforce requirements.
The report estimates that by 2028 the industry in Manitoba will require about 39,500 workers, down 1,900 from the 2018 total, with the strongest declines, about 13 per cent, over the next three years.
That’s because between 2020 and 2021 a couple of major long-term projects are in the process of wrapping up, most notably Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask dam construction in Northern Manitoba.
That, as well as work on the southwest rapid-transit corridor and Waverley underpass which will also be completed in that time frame, will mean about 2,300 workers will be looking for their next workplace.
Ron Hambley, president of the Winnipeg Construction Association, said, “The big one is Keeyask. When you cut 2,000 people loose, the industry notices.”
The upcoming decline in expected construction labour force demand also has to do with residential construction cycles. The implementation of an impact fee on new residential construction at the end of 2017 generated a surge in housing construction — up about 40 per cent that year from the previous year — pulling housing starts ahead of what might otherwise have been the normal pace.
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