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Canada continues losing jobs in construction as government relies on immigration to boost sector

Canada lost 45,000 construction jobs in July as housing crisis looms

While Canada continues to hit record immigration numbers each year, and the government expects to keep the inflow afloat, the country has been consistently losing out on jobs – unavoidably affecting immigrant employment rates, recent data shows.

According to Statistics Canada’s jobs data July, released last week, the employment rate of immigrants that landed in the last five years was 77.7%, down 2.3% from July last year. In comparison, the employment rate of those born in Canada was 86.6% in July 2023. Unemployment rates also rose for the third consecutive month.

The survey also acknowledges that Canadian population continues to grow, while employment rates remain unchanged. “From January to July, the employment rate fell 0.5 percentage points, as population growth (+1.4%) outpaced growth in employment (+0.7%) over this period,” it said.

However, construction was the worst hit sectors. The Canadian construction sector saw a drastic drop of 45,000 jobs, or a total of 2.8% in the month.

“In construction, employment decreased by 45,000 (-2.8%) in July, following a smaller decline of 14,000 (-0.8%) in June. Since January 2023, employment in construction decreased by 71,000,” the Labour Force Survey said. Since the beginning of the year construction has lost more jobs than all major sectors.

While the construction industry continues to lose jobs, and immigration employment rates are dropping, Canada continues to lag behind millions of houses required to sustain its growing population.

In a post on platform X, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marc Miller quoted his spokesperson’s comments to Global News. “With provinces like Ontario needing 100,000 workers to meet their housing demands, it is clear that immigration will play a strong role in creating more homes for Canadians,” He said.

Earlier this month, the government announced a streamlined pathway for immigrants with with expertise in fields like skilled trades such as carpentry, plumbing and welding. This made trades the latest category to be added to the list of categories eligible for the Express Entry program.

In a statement, Marc Miller said that shortage of skilled trades workers in the country is critical, and “part of the solution is helping the construction sector find and maintain the workers it needs.”

Rahat Sandhu
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