Construction sector lost 11,000 jobs across Canada last month

Housing Starts in Canada - All Areas (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC))

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Canada’s construction sector lost 11,000 jobs in April, the largest reduction in jobs of all sectors, according to Statistics Canada. The decline happened as 90,000 workers were added across all sectors and the general unemployment rate remained at 6.1 per cent.

According to seasonally adjusted figures there were 1,589,800 people working in construction in April, down from the 1,600,900 in March, and 5,100 fewer than the same month last year.

Across all employment sectors, there were 1.3 million unemployed people in Canada last month – up 256,000, or 23.7 per cent from 2023.

Residential and non-residential building intentions also fell in March, with only the commercial segment recording an increase while the value of building permits across Canada fell 11.7 per cent to $10.5 billion. The residential sector dropping 8.3 per cent to $6.5 billion. Declines were seen in all areas except commercial projects which rose 5.8 per cent, adding $123 million.

Industrial construction fell 46.1 per cent to $736.9 million and the institutional segment fell 22.2 per cent to $1.03 billion.

permits aprilResidential construction recorded 16,800 new multi-unit dwellings and 4,200 new single-family homes, however, permit values for both single-family and multi-family dwellings were down for the month. Ontario led the decline.

The total value of building permits in the first quarter of 2024 was $33.4 billion, a 3.7 per cent increase from the previous quarter, and a partial rebound from the fourth quarter of 2023, which was the lowest quarterly total value since the third quarter of 2021.

The value of residential building permits edged up 1.8 per cent in the first quarter. Growth of almost eight per cent in the multi-unit component was partially offset by declines in the single-family homes component.


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