Ottawa Employment Hub: Growing skilled trades demand anticipated in generally healthy


Ottawa Construction News staff writer

There are promising indicators for Ottawa’s construction labour force – but there are also challenges in matching the available jobs to individuals with the right skills, according to data in the 2018 Ottawa Community Labour Market Plan.

The draft document released at the Ottawa Employment Hub’s Building Connections day on April 10 suggests that about five per cent of the city’s workforce is employed in construction, and that employment in the industry has grown by 15 per cent between 2012 and 2017, with a net increase of 4,268 jobs.

Average annual salaries within the industry in 2016 were $62,791, with employees working at 2,652 firms in December 2017.  (Most of the businesses were relatively small, with 1,374 employing one to four workers, and 1,267 employing 1,267.)

The report says that the employment growth is expected to continue by 1,287 workers by 2019, from the 33,329 employed in 2017.

Within the industry, the top 10 sector occupations were:

3,112   Home building and renovation managers

2,671   Construction trades helpers and labourers

1,926   Electricians (except industrial and power systems)

1,732   Carpenters

1,625   Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and services

1,440   Plumbers

1,281   Construction managers

1,198   Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics

974      Painters and decorators (except interior decorators); and

796      Heavy equipment operators (except crane)

Overall, the sector’s unemployment rate in 2016 was 8 per cent, while the unionization rate in 2017 was 23 per cent.

The document says there are “reports of difficulties finding workers with technical skills int he construction sector” and there “always seems to be demand for certified tradespeople.”

Overall, “most see Ottawa as a job seeker’s market right now with low unemployment and many opportunities” but “some still see discrepancy between experience for which employers are looking and what job seekers have to offer.”


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