Ontario Construction is Looking Up: Annual OCS Survey sees Positive Outlook from Contractors

March 3, 2023

The annual OCS Survey found that more than eight-in-10 Ontario contractors are feeling good about their business prospects this year.

According to the Ontario Construction Secretariat’s annual Contractor Survey, 81 per cent of respondents think their business prospects for 2023 will either stay the same (49 per cent) or improve  (32 per cent), while only 16 per cent are forecasting a drop in business.

“The past few years have been uncertain and difficult, particularly in the construction sector with shut downs, closures, supply chain disruptions and labour issues,” says Robert Bronk, Chief Executive Officer of the OCS. “But the pipeline of work out there is staggering and generating strong demands for contractors and labour, thereby fueling contractors’ optimism about the coming year.”

While there remain concerns about ever-rising costs, high interest rates, difficulties sourcing materials and challenges attracting workers, these are countered by the sheer volume of work right across the province that is putting more demand on the skilled construction trades.

Annual OCS Survey

Fully a third of the contractors surveyed expect to be hiring this year, and two-thirds have raised wages in the past year to both retain and attract skilled labour.

There is also an uptick in the percentage of contractors who are employing apprentices — 64 per cent this year compared to 60 per cent in 2022. But by and large, this increase is being driven by unionized contractors, 83 per cent of which employed apprentices in 2023, an increase of seven percentage points over a year ago. That compares to 54 per cent of non-union contractors who employed an apprentice in 2023, up two percentage points from 2022.

One of the challenges that remain in the post-COVID period is the delay or cancellation of projects. More than a third of contractors (36 per cent) report that they have had a project cancelled in the past year, and more than half (53 per cent) report projects that have been delayed.

Escalating project costs have been cited as the No. 1 reason for a cancellation, with difficulty sourcing materials coming in second.

“Despite the mostly positive outlook, the availability of experienced skilled labour and material related costs are still prominent concerns,” says Mr. Bronk. “However, the severity of these issues is somewhat less than in our 2022 survey, and certain aspects such as material availability and supply chain disruptions are showing improvement.”

You can find the full OCS survey HERE

You can find our recent article with OCS CEO, Robert Bronk HERE

Source

Related Articles


Latest Articles

  • Shore-Side Electricity and Data Monitoring Take Hold in the Cruise Industry

    Shore-Side Electricity and Data Monitoring Take Hold in the Cruise Industry

    April 15, 2024 On July 7, 2023, the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its participating maritime countries set their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions strategy to achieve net zero “by or around” 2050. As a result, the shipping industry, including cruise lines, is adopting various strategies to achieve this ambitious goal, including new fuels,… Read More…

  • Project Spotlight: Sainte-Thérèse High School Lighting Upgrade

    Project Spotlight: Sainte-Thérèse High School Lighting Upgrade

    Built in 1980, the building that houses Sainte-Thérèse high school, in Quebec Canada, was looking a little worse for the wear. Renovation work began with two major projects: introducing a multidisciplinary sports centre, as well as redesigning the parking lots.  The employee and visitor parking lots were completely reconfigured during phase 1 of the renovation… Read More…

  • Guide to the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1[i], 26th Edition – A Road Map: Section 10 – Grounding and Bonding

    Guide to the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1[i], 26th Edition – A Road Map: Section 10 – Grounding and Bonding

    April 8, 2024 By William (Bill) Burr[i] The Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes, it can seem daunting to quickly find the information you need.  This series of articles provides a guide to help users find their way through this critical document. This is not intended to replace the notes in Appendix B, or the… Read More…

  • Investment in the Residential Sector Declines in January 2024

    Investment in the Residential Sector Declines in January 2024

    April 8, 2024 Investment in building construction declined 0.9% to $19.7 billion in January. The residential sector declined 1.4% to $13.6 billion, while investment in the non-residential sector edged up 0.2% to $6.1 billion. On a constant dollar basis (2017=100), investment in building construction fell 0.9% to $12.1 billion in January. Investment in the residential sector declines Investment in residential building construction declined… Read More…


Changing Scene