Construction and Utilities

Photo of a construction worker wearing safety harness working in a high place.
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As Toronto grows, the construction and utilities sector grows as well. In 2020, in Greater Toronto, over 140,000 workers were employed with one of the sector’s 20,000 firms. Most industry forecasts indicate that planned residential and commercial constructing projects, along with maintenance and renovation work will drive the continued demand for jobs in construction over the next decade.

Employment in Toronto’s construction sector remained relatively resilient throughout the pandemic, as planned commercial and residential projects proceeded while governments doubled down on infrastructure spending to boost the economy.  There are some concerns around contraction in the construction sector due to possible long-term effects of the pandemic on the demand for office and retail construction.

A recent report by BuildForce Canada suggests that investment reductions will affect construction employment, the downward investment trend suggests some weakness in the market leading into 2021 and 2022.

There are fewer concerns with respect to work in the utilities sector. The industry relies on a technical and flexible workforce that includes operators, engineers and technicians, and skilled trade workers to help sustain operations and meet changing needs. As the GTA’s electrical grid becomes more complex and includes a wider range of power sources, the industry will need those with advanced skill sets. Many of the key positions require specific educational training as well as on-the-job learning to keep up with regulations and standards.

New technologies and an increased push for sustainable practices continue to transform the sector. As the effects of climate change become more evident, cities and utilities companies are working to ensure sustainable utilities options are available and affordable to businesses and residents. New programs are being offered at post-secondary institutions to meet these changing demands. For example, the Energy Systems Engineering Technology diploma program at Centennial College allows new and experienced construction and utilities professionals to learn how to design and implement energy systems that are innovative and sustainable.

Looking forward, for a sector that has traditionally been dominated by men, it will be essential to ensure construction and utilities are seen as a viable career option for people of all genders. As a significant portion of the sector is set to retire over the next decade, there will be an increase in demand for skilled workers. Therefore, it will be useful for the construction and utilities companies to increase diversity and inclusion efforts now to avoid a shortage of workers in the future.

Three-Year Outlook

Industry Outlook

Growth

Growth

Rating Legend – Strong Decline

Rating Legend Rating Legend – Decline

Rating Legend Rating Legend Rating Legend – Flat

Rating Legend Rating Legend Rating Legend Rating Legend – Growth

Rating Legend Rating Legend Rating Legend Rating Legend Rating Legend – Strong Growth

Occupations with Positive Growth Outlook

Elevator constructors and mechanics 

This occupation mainly works in the following sector:

  • Construction and Utilities: 95%

Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers 

This occupation mainly works in the following sector:

  • Construction and Utilities: 81%

Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics

This occupation mainly works in the following sector:

  • Construction and Utilities: 77%

For other occupation prospects and more information visit Province of Ontario, Search job profiles (gov.on.ca) and Government of Canada, Job prospects in the Toronto Region.

For More Information

Toronto Construction Association
Website

Ontario Energy Association
Website

What We Are Currently Looking At

Women in Construction Podcast Series
Website

The accuracy of the information presented based on job posting data depends, in part, on whether jobs are categorized into the correct industries. In some cases, job postings may be incorrectly attributed to a sector grouping and the data should be interpreted with caution.

All industry and occupational data is for Toronto Census Municipal Area (Toronto CMA) unless noted.

We welcome the use and sharing of the research data contained in our reports, articles and website, with attribution to “Toronto Workforce Innovation Group (TWIG)” as your source.

March 15, 2021

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