FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- Calgary’s Construction Industry Grows as Skilled Labour Shortage Persists


Calgary’s Construction Industry Grows as Skilled Labour Shortage Persists

Calgary, AB – According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for July 2023, 97,800 people in the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area were employed in the construction industry – up from 84,200 in July 2022. This figure represents a remarkable growth rate of 16 percent year over year and is the highest recorded figure since July 2014 – prior to the oil slump.

“Calgary’s construction industry is seeing exponential growth,” said Bill Black, President of the Calgary Construction Association. “These new numbers reflect the resilience and vitality of Calgary’s construction industry in the face of various challenges, including the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The construction industry is a barometer for our overall local economy,” said Black. “When the economy is growing, we see it reflected in our industry. When the economy shrinks, we are the first to feel it.”

While the construction industry is flourishing, the Calgary Construction Association estimates that there are currently between 2500 to 4000 vacant positions within the workforce, a number that continues to rise. The Association believes that the labour shortage has the potential to impact project timelines, increase costs, and hinder the industry’s overall expansion and Calgary’s growth. The Association also recognizes that strategic efforts are essential to address this challenge and ensure the sustained growth of the industry.

Possible solutions include revising outdated accreditation recognition for newcomers coming to Canada to seek and place high-value-specific skills that are transferable to construction. This means a rework of the immigration points system favour such skills and experience, and the expansion of programs like the Alberta Provincial Nominee program, to ensure immigrants to the Province are matched with jobs that fill the labour gap.

The school system needs to reverse a trend over recent years that has reduced junior high and high school student exposure to the trades, along with greater funding for post-secondary institutions like SAIT which have the mandate to train the next generation of Alberta’s skilled trades.

In addition to being a key resource to society in building and servicing the communities that we live in, the construction industry offers significant opportunities and long-term career prospects for those who chose this path including low entry cost of education, good compensation, and entrepreneurial opportunities for those who aspire to be a business owner.

For more information:

Frano Cavar

Director of Government Relations, Calgary Construction Association

(403) 291-3350

Labour Force Survey Statistics are available here:




Article by Lena Hogarth
August 8, 2023

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