A recent economic report by the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) revealed that employment and labour force increased slightly but left the unemployment rate unchanged at 4.3 per cent.
According to the report, total ICI building construction investment was up 3.1 per cent from August to September. The institutional sector experienced the largest percentage increase at 11.7 per cent. The report also noted that industrial sector investment continues its steady upward trend, continually setting new record highs.
From October to November, employment increased from 600.5 thousand to 603.6 thousand, while the labour force increased from 627.2 thousand to 630.9 thousand, according to the report. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.3 per cent and the overall Ontario unemployment rate was 5.5 per cent, down from the 5.9 per cent in October.
The report noted that both female employment and labour force participation in Ontario construction was over 20 per cent higher in comparison to the same time last year. On a month-to-month basis, the increase was less intense, but levels have been higher overall for 2023.
Total ICI investment in building construction increased by 3.1 per cent from August to September, according to the report. Commercial building investment flatlined with a change of 0.1 per cent while industrial investment grew 2.1 per cent, continuing to set new record highs. The report noted that the year-over-year increase was more substantial, increasing 21.6 per cent. Institutional investment rose 11.7 per cent which is a relatively large monthly jump for investment in building construction, according to the report. The report noted that this coincides with the elevated construction activity due to a large hospital reconstruction job in Toronto as well as the construction of a new correctional facility in Thunder Bay.
Total investment in ICI building construction was up 13.6 per cent compared to the same time last year, with the industrial sector experiencing the largest percentage change (31.9 per cent).