Need for workers experiencing labour pains
THE Construction Looking Forward document was released this week by the Construction Sector Council and the research shows continued need for professionals in all trades and occupations. The regular but slowing growth from 2010 to 2018 has been highlighted by three distinct periods.
The Shallow Dip (2008-09) occurred immediately after the record years of construction activity. Combined with a worldwide recession, there was really nowhere for the employment requirement numbers to go but down.
Fortunately, in Manitoba, this was only a slight decrease. Residential, roads and related engineering were most impacted, but not to any great degree. A fast rebound was predicted.
The Ramping Up period (2010-2012) backs this prediction with new housing and utility-related engineering construction experiencing the biggest gains.
Finally, the High Plateau (2013-2018) shows annual increments between one and two per cent. The increased labour needs do not grow by large amounts, however it is important to note that the increase is experienced virtually every year, thereby exhibiting a constant need for labour market entry. Labour markets are already tight and so this extended growth pattern will only exacerbate the situation.
The Manitoba construction labour market experienced very little unemployment during the recession. Future labour requirements cannot be met through existing unemployment ranks. Recruiting must occur outside.
From 2010 through 2018, construction employment will rise by 6,200 jobs.
Add to this replacement requirements for 5,300 retirements occurring over this period and another 900 lost through other means and there is a massive shortfall of skilled trades workers. If prior employment entry patterns continue, we can expect 6,500 new entrants, thereby leaving this province with a 7,800-worker deficit.
The identified worker needs are spread out evenly throughout the various trades. In the next four years, projections are that 23 of the 28 trades will experience serious shortages of skilled labour. With the mobility that currently exists in the local industry, this means that virtually every single trade can ensure continued employment for at least the next eight years.
For additional information regarding 2010 Construction Looking Forward or the Labour Market Indicators in Manitoba’s construction industry, visit the website of the Manitoba Construction Sector Council at www.mbcsc.com.