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“Projected Wage Growth for 2016 Canadian Construction Industry”

Posted on September 14th, by Kevin Leh in Career Development, Engineering, Industry Resources, Infographic, Kevin Leh, Recruitment. Comments Off on “Projected Wage Growth for 2016 Canadian Construction Industry”

The projected wage growth in Canada’s 2016 construction industry is marginal. The reduction in Canada’s oil production and the cancellation of many capital projects inevitably leaves construction wage growth at a standstill. There now exists a 94% correlation between the Canadian Dollar and oil prices, as Canada’s Loonie has chased oil prices extremely closely over the past five years. Construction related to industries servicing the oiprojectedwagegrowthinfogrl sector has suffered similar results.

Recent 2016 survey forecasts indicate large reductions in Alberta wage projections for 2016; wage increases were projected at 2.2% compared to the 3.4% anticipated the year before. British Columbia is the only other province with a lower projected wage increase of 2.3%. Generally speaking, the country’s year-over-year wage growth has been following a downward trend for the past year, as the collapse of oil prices and other commodities has had a definitive impact on the major resource-producing provinces and the national economy.

According to a recent Q1 study by Stats Canada, the construction industry average wage has only increased by 0.5% in the past year and the data regarding monthly wage growth showed a 1.3% increase. A survey of human resource managers across Canada found they expect wages to rise 2.5% in 2016 (Canadian Press); however, the Canadian job market is expecting much slower growth, especially in the construction field.

To provide more informed wage growth trends, here is a provincial breakdown of the recent Stats Canada survey on the construction industry.

2016 Forecast for The East


Monthly Wage Growth  (%)

  Yearly Wage Growth (%)

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) -0.1 +2.3
Prince Edward Island (PEI) -7.1 -7.7
Nova Scotia (NS) +6.0 +1.3
New Brunswick (NB) -0.4 +2.6

Newfoundland and Labrador experienced a 0.1% decrease in monthly wage growth last quarter, but the yearly wage growth in construction showed an optimistic increase of 2.3%. Prince Edward Island was hit especially hard in a 7.1% decrease in monthly wage growth, and a negative trending yearly wage growth corresponding to a 7.7% decrease. Nova Scotia experienced a healthy monthly wage increase in construction of 6.0%, with a yearly wage increase of 1.3%. This is without a doubt the strongest monthly growth experienced by any province in the East. New Brunswick suffered a 0.4% decrease in monthly wage and an even larger decrease of 2.6% when considering yearly construction wages.

2016 Forecast for The Central


Monthly Wage Growth (%)

Yearly Wage Growth (%)

Quebec (QC) +1.3 +2.3
Ontario (ON) 0.0 +0.9
Manitoba (MB) +0.2 +3.6

Quebec’s construction wage data showed a 1.3% monthly wage increase and a 2.3% yearly wage increase, both of which are above the national average in construction. Ontario remained even in the monthly wage growth, while sporting a 0.9% increase from 2015. Manitoba showed a sustained yearly wage increase of 3.6%, while the monthly wage grew only 0.2%.

2016 Forecast for The West


Monthly Wage Growth (%)

Yearly Wage Growth (%)

Saskatchewan (SK) +0.5 -2.5
Alberta (AB) +5.8 +2.0
British Columbia (BC) +0.5 -1.1
Yukon (YK) -1.7 -1.9

Saskatchewan shows a decline in yearly construction wages of 2.5%, but seems to be rebounding as monthly trends indicate a positive growth in monthly wage of 0.5%. Alberta shows a healthy increase of 5.8% in monthly wages in 2016, while the yearly wage increased 2.5%. British Columbia was on par with the national monthly average wage increase, but showed a decrease in yearly wage growth of 1.1%. Yukon construction wages suffered from a decrease in both monthly and yearly growth of 1.7% and 1.9%, respectively.

Key Points

  • The country’s strongest relative construction wage growth was in Manitoba, up 3.6% from Q1 2015.
  • The country’s weakest relative construction wage growth was in PEI, down 7.7% from Q1 2015.
  • 70% of provinces surveyed by Stats Canada showed increased construction wages, average yearly increase of 2.1% from Q1 2015.
  • Alberta’s slowed oil production does not seem to be affecting the closely related construction industry, yearly wages up 2.0% from Q1 2015.



The intimacy of oil prices and the Canadian Dollar proves true when considering the slow growth that the national economy is currently experiencing. As long as oil prices remain significantly influential in determining the health of the national economy, low-key wage growth will be observed nationwide. Considering the above relationship, it’s difficult to believe that wages in the Canadian construction job market will make any significant advancements in the upcoming 3rd and 4th quarters.

Contact Us

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/labor93a-eng.htm [statcan]

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/lists-and-rankings/best-jobs/2016-construction-manager/ [Construction managers]

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/canada/inflation-cpi/forecast [Inflation Rate URL]








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Kevin Leh

Engineering & Operations Recruiter at Goldbeck Recruiting Inc.
Kevin Leh is the Operations and Engineering Recruiter at Goldbeck Recruiting Inc and brings a wealth of experience and talent to the team with a niche focus in technical positions within civil and commercial construction, logistics and industrial manufacturing industries.

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