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Toronto labour shortages could result in project postponements: RLB

Toronto labour shortages could result in project postponements: RLB

TORONTO—Property consulting firm Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) has released its midyear Quarterly Cost Report, providing an overview of construction activity in 14 key North American markets and insights into the industry for the second quarter of 2022. 

The report stated the construction industry is facing a significant workforce shortage that is hindering the industry’s ability to maximize the amount of construction activity that could be taking place. In the past two months, spending on nonresidential construction has declined, with many industry experts attributing this to the workforce shortage, stated a release.

In Toronto, residential developers are dealing with a labour scarcity and rising construction materials costs, which will likely result in postponed project launches. Although home resales have slowed since the first interest rate hike, the new-home or preconstruction market has remained active. This indicates that, while 2022 will be slower than 2021, it will still be a very solid year for the Toronto residential market.

The report added nonresidential investment is expected to contribute to Ontario’s expansion. In 2022, the provincial government plans to increase spending on public infrastructure by 11 per cent. Expansion of public transportation and the construction of new highways are two major undertakings in Ontario, RLB noted. During the second half of 2022, the labour market is predicted to expand by 3.9 per cent.

“The workforce shortage is pervasive through every aspect of our industry right now,” said Julian Anderson, president of RLB North America, in a statement. “While the workforce shortage is just one piece of a larger set of challenges we are facing right now, it’s important we strive to have the appropriate workforce numbers in place as we prepare for the future.”

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