Skilled Trades Growth Projections
Prescott-Russell Population Growth Projections over the next 10 Years, from Ontario's Finance Ministry.
Total growth over the ten years is 9.1% or less than 1% per year.
S.D. and G. will have almost no growth at all or 0.03% in the same 10 year period.
In general, not that robust a growth so the general economic demand locally should be about the current level in the short term (5 years or so).
Overall, the current generation of young workers will be facing good labour markets, generally. The pace of retirement will continue to accelerate and firms will continue to need to hire. Consequently, given acceptable levels of skill and knowledge, young workers should find work although not necessarily the work they want (which is common).
Most apprenticeships and trades are situated within either manufacturing or construction. There are of course other apprentices within service industries. Generally the services industries have all been growing. Health care and trucking are two examples of service industries with great growth potential. Here is a quick look at construction and manufacturing.
Manufacturing overall has been downsizing for the past year and no relief is in sight. There have been job losses in the 13 of the 18 manufacturing subgroups that we get Labour Force Survey data for. Consequently, manufacturing employment in Ontario and this area is a bit rocky at the moment. It's unlikely that manufacturing will entirely recover the job losses for some time. The Domtar plant alone, laid off over 100 skilled tradespeople. The Nestle and St Lawrence Corporation closures would have similar numbers of skilled tradespeople. Therefore, in the short term, there will not be any shortages of industrial tradespeople locally. However, Ontario manufacturing employment overcame the severe decline in the early 1990s by the end of that decade, so there is hope for the medium to long term. That decline had been much more severe than this one.
Employment has been climbing for a number of years. There are continuing forecasts for building trades shortages in some parts of Ontario for the next five years. This is also due to the continuing poaching of trades to Western Canada. Within construction, residential building is slowing although still strong. Industrial and commercial building is increasing. Some skills, however, are only somewhat transferable between the sectors.
From the report, Construction Looking Forward, produced by the Construction Sector Council, Labour requirements from 2006 to 2014 for Ontario.
The outlook for the key indicators of the region's economic performance highlights are:
- Economic growth averages about 2.4% per year over the forecast period
- The major drivers for the economy are investment, federal government expenditures, and consumer expenditures. The latter expenditures are driven in part by expansionary fiscal policy •Employment growth averages 1.3% in line with GDP growth and productivity growth of about 1.1% per year
- The unemployment rate falls to 5.0% in 2014, as employment growth exceeds labour force growth. The slower labour force growth reflects an aging population and its impact on retirements from the labour force
- Population growth averages about 0.8% over the forecast period, increasing slightly over the long term as net in-migration grows to meet increased employment requirements that the domestic economy is unable to provide
- This region should be largely self-sufficient, with additions to the workforce balancing the requirements
- Unemployed workers with specific skills may be tempted by opportunities in other regions
Table 7.5: Replacement Demand (Retirements in Eastern Ontario)
|Average Age||Exits From the Labour Force||Replacement Demand|
|Trades||2005||2005||2014||2005-2014||2005 (%)||2014 (%)|
Construction Millwrights and Industrial
|Contractors and Supervisors||43||95||119||1,058||2.0||3.2|
|Drillers and Blasters||37||1||3||22||0.7||1.9|
|Electricians (including industrial)||40||42||55||490||1.6||2.5|
|Elevator Constructors and Mechanics||42||3||5||39||1.7||3.4|
|Floor Covering Installers||39||8||12||101||1.2||2.2|
|Heavy Equipment Operators
Ironworkers and Structural Metal
|Painters and Decorators||41||39||47||430||1.9||2.8|
Plasterers, Drywall Installers and
|refrigeration and Air Conditioning
Residential and Commercial Installers
|Roofers and Shinglers||36||8||13||101||0.9||1.6|
|Sheet Metal Workers||40||8||12||100||1.5||2.8|
Steamfitters, pipefitters and Sprinkler
|Trades Helpers & Labourers||35||60||88||749||1.1||1.8|
|Welders and Related Machine Operators||40||7||9||86||1.7||2.7|
|Total CSC Trades as a Whole:||40||622||800||7,118||1.7||2.6|
Some trades have higher levels of replacement demand related to retirement. Retirement rates for these trades exceed 3% of the workforce by 2014, and the average age is near 45 in 2005:
- Construction managers
- Contractors and supervisors
- Crane operators
- Elevator constructors and mechanics
- Heavy equipment operators
- Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
- Truck drivers
For these trades, retirement demands are large and will place significant requirements on training and recruitment from 2006 to 2014, even during periods of weak demand.
Some trades have a lower age profile and less retirement demand. Retirement rates for these trades rarely exceed 2% to 2.5% of the workforce, and the average age is near 37 in 2005:
- Concrete finishers
- Drillers and blasters
- Floor covering installers
- Roofers and shinglers
So it appears that with slow population growth and moderate economic growth there will not be major shortages of tradespeople within eastern Ontario. Tradespeople in our area are younger on average than in the rest of the province so there won't be the large numbers retiring here like in Toronto or southwestern Ontario. Having said that, it still appears that jobs will be available in construction in this area in those trades. We may not have the severe shortages predicted for other areas but there will be steady growth, which means more jobs, especially in skilled trades.
Labour Market Information Analyst,
Suite 100-111 Water St E., Cornwall, On K6H-6S4
5 September 2006
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