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Mar 7, 2024

Busy year projected for Ontario construction

With an abundance of current work and more projects on the horizon, Ontario contractors expect 2024 to be a busy year, says the Ontario Construction Secretariat’s annual Contractor Survey.


While concern remains about rising costs for materials and labour, there is a noted improvement in the supply chain and growing interest in innovation and technology to increase productivity and lower costs. More than two-thirds of the contractors surveyed (66 per cent) feel positive about the coming year; among unionized workplaces, that number is even stronger at 71 per cent.


The survey also reveals a strong support for the adoption of new technologies; 83 per cent of those surveyed feel adopting new tech is important to the future of their business, and 15 per cent have created a budget to invest in new technology. The most used technologies were building information modeling (44 per cent) and jobsite data collection apps (43 per cent).


Ongoing labour challenges remain a concern, with 65 per cent expecting recruiting skilled workers to be more difficult in 2024 and nearly half (48 per cent) citing the availability of experienced skilled labour as the top concern in 2024. But that isn’t tempering expectations for job creation in the sector, with 34 per cent of respondents expecting their workforce to be larger this year, against only eight per cent who expect the number of people they employ to drop.


If there is one projected drag on the outlook for 2024, it is rising costs. One in five open-ended responses to the survey cited increasing prices, whether it was for labour, materials, or higher interest rates. Following availability of labour, material costs (28 per cent), labour costs (27 per cent) and transportation costs (25 per cent) were listed as the top concerns of the year.

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