Sector Spotlight: Construction

Sector Spotlight: Construction

The construction sector is an important one for Durham Region; it is one of our top five employment sectors. Essentially, construction includes workplaces that construct and renovate buildings, as well as engineering works and the subdivision and development of land. Construction includes parts of projects or complete projects and includes repairs or renovations to existing projects.

3 Main Sectors

  • construction of buildings (e.g. homes, commercial buildings)
  • heavy and civil engineering construction (e.g. highways, land subdivision)
  • specialty trade constructors who perform the required trade activities on constructed buildings and structures (e.g. masonry, electrical work)

Construction Notables

  • According to Buildforce Canada (2019), there is projected demand in the construction sector in the next ten years for Ontario.
  • Aging is the number one barrier to a declining construction labour force, causing the industry to look towards other industries, provinces or even countries to find adequate workers to meet construction demands (Buildforce Canada, 2019).
  • There are federally funded programs in place that help more people become skilled trades workers, to help address the anticipated shortage (Employment & Social Development Canada, 2018).
  • According to the last publicly available Annual Building Activity Review report for Durham Region, there was a year-over-year increase of 20.3 percent for the total value of residential permits issued (Durham Region, 2018).
  • Most construction businesses in the Durham Region are Specialty trade contractors, without any employees, followed by Construction of building businesses, without any employees
  • The construction occupation with highest employment in the Durham Region is Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics, with high median and average employment incomes of 93,800 and 94,816 respectively.
  • The construction industry with highest employment in the Durham Region is Building equipment contractors, with a total of 2805 employed persons.
  • The median employment income is 56,756 and the average employment income is 65,460, which is higher than the median and average employment incomes for Durham Region, which are $38,893 and $50,161 respectively
  • Most workers in construction sectors have educational attainment above a secondary school diploma or equivalent.
  • The age distribution that most workers are within the core-aged working population (25 to 44 years). However, almost half the workers in the three construction industries are 45 years and over, which can have implications for workforce availability in the future.


The DWA is one of a network of 26 Workforce Planning Board areas across the province.

Workforce Planning Boards gather intelligence about the supply of labour and the demand side of the local labour market by working with employers to identify and meet their current and emerging skills needs. The primary role of Workforce Planning Boards is to help improve understanding of and coordinate community responses to labour market issues and needs.