Report: 29,100 construction job openings forecast for Calgary

The Labour Market Outlook is the first analysis of its kind at the economic-region-level in Canada.

Key Takeaways:

  • The city is expected to experience 29,100 construction job openings, 6% of total job openings in the coming decade. 
  • Three out of four job openings within the construction industry will result from the need to replace workers over the forecast period.
  • Some of the reports recommendations include focusing immigration on skilled workers, targeting underrepresented groups, easing job requirements and creating incentives to attract surplus labour from other provinces.

The Whole Story:

Construction is one of five industries that will experience the most job openings in Calgary over the next decade, a new report predicts. 

Calgary Economic Region Labour Market Outlook 2024-2033, the city’s first economic regional-level labour market outlook to provide detailed labour market projections has been released. It includes a 10-year assessment of the expected gap between labour demand and supply within the Calgary Economic Region.

The report assesses what is responsible for changes in the demand and supply of jobs and estimates future supply and demand by industry, occupation, and education. After providing a long-term assessment of potential labour market imbalances in the region, the report suggests policy changes to help address the identified labour market imbalances.

“The key takeaway from the Labour Market Outlook is that the Calgary Economic Region is expected to experience dynamic labour market conditions and challenges over the next decade. During the current budget cycle, the CER labour market will experience labour surpluses driven by increases in population and labour supply, but the Outlook also shows that we should anticipate labour shortages in specific occupations in the next budget cycle”, said Carla Male, The city’s chief financial officer. 

Zooming in on construction, the sector is expected to experience 29,100 job openings, 6% of total job openings for the next decade. 

Key highlights include:

  • Over the next 10 years, the Calgary Region is expected to offer 479,000 positions to job seekers. Economic growth is expected to drive job openings within the current budget cycle. However, replacing aging workers will be the primary driver of job openings in the long term, as it is estimated that one in every six Calgarians will be at least 65 years or older by 2030.
  •  Hiring challenges that began after the pandemic are expected to ease within the current budget cycle (2023-2026) as the number of job seekers exceeds the number of job openings as net migration reaches record highs. This labour surplus will be driven by the federal government’s plan to attract 985,000 workers (and their families), coupled with Calgary’s relative housing affordability.
  • The next budget cycle (2027-2030) will see a different trend driven by a shortage in labour supply. The combination of economic expansion as interest rates moderate, coupled with a slowdown in population growth will lead to a slowdown in job seekers and surge in job openings. Without compensating policy actions, some labour market imbalances are expected to re-emerge in key occupations between 2027 and 2030.
  • Five Industries are expected to account for half of all job openings over the next 10 years: construction; professional, scientific and technical services; health care and social assistance; retail trade, accommodation and food services.
  • Some industries are forecast to have surplus labour. These include: Auditors,

Accountants, and investment professionals; helpers, labourers (warehouse workers and material handlers); insurance, real estate and financial sales occupations; retail and wholesale trade managers; elementary and kindergarten schoolteachers. 

The report’s authors explained that Calgary’s construction industry is currently facing shortages, delaying projects while raising price fluctuation risks. While job vacancies have declined for three consecutive quarters as of Q2 2023, job vacancies remain elevated. 

“Construction jobs are still a primary contributing factor to the elevated job vacancies within the region,” they wrote. “Record high net migration and relative affordability have increased demand for housing construction. On the other hand, an aging workforce and a drop in construction trade enrolments have contributed to the slow growth in the supply of construction workers. As a result, close to three out of four job openings within the construction industry will result from the need to replace workers over the forecast period.”

They added that unless policies targets individuals with the skills to work in construction, immigration numbers may not necessarily ease some current and projected shortages.

These were their overall recommendations: 

  • Immigration support and advocacy to attract people with the right skills. 
  • Support for easing regulation and licensing requirements.
  • Introducing mobility incentives to attract surplus labour from other provinces.
  • Increased municipal government advocacy for provincial government investment in education and training programs for occupations with acute shortages.
  • Increasing job market participation by underrepresented groups, especially encouraging youth and women’s participation in the labour force.


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