Regional Construction Job Numbers Down In June

By Mahafrine Petigara. Construction employment in the Lower Mainland-Southwest region decreased in June, according to Vancouver Regional Construction Association’s (VRCA) analysis of today’s Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada. June saw 109,900 persons working in construction in the Lower Mainland-Southwest region, down 1.5 per cent or 1,700 working persons from 111,600 in May 2013. This is up 2.1 per cent from the figures reported for January-June 2012.

“Construction employment numbers in June are disappointing and came in below our expectations,” said Jan Robinson, interim president of VRCA. “The numbers declined more than the normal amount at this time of year and the 2013 regional construction employment forecast might need to be revised in light of June’s performance.”

In Metro Vancouver, construction employment decreased 2.8 per cent in June 2013 from May to an estimated 91,900 persons working in the industry. This is down 0.8 per cent, or 700 persons, from the figures reported for June 2012. However, year-to-date employment has increased by 5.1 per cent from January-June 2012 to January-June 2013.

“We will watch the employment numbers closely in the coming months,” said Robinson. “While it’s likely that the slow growth in regional construction employment will continue for the rest of the year, with more demand for building space and some major construction projects underway and planned for the lower mainland, we are hopeful for improvement in 2014.”

Abbotsford construction employment was unchanged at 9,400 thousand persons in June. Year-over-year employment in the Abbotsford area was down 9.6 per cent from last year. Year-to-date employment was down by 1.4 per cent.

Province-wide, B.C.’s seasonally adjusted employment slipped 0.3 per cent lower to 189,500 in June when normal seasonal pattern should have resulted in a gain of about 2 per cent over May. Compared with June 2012, the number of people employed in B.C. construction was down 0.3 per cent, or 600 persons. Year-to-date employment was 1.3 per cent lower than last year.

Seasonally adjusted employment in Canada increased by 0.1 per cent in June. The year-over-year increase was 6.3 per cent with year-to-date up 3.7 per cent.

With more than 700 members, VRCA is British Columbia’s largest and most inclusive regional construction association, representing union and non-union, general and trade contracting companies, manufacturers, suppliers and other professionals throughout the Lower Mainland from Hope to Whistler.

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