Labour shortages leading to cancelled projects in 'superheated' construction sector

Sluggish labour force growth and ongoing supply chain disruptions are contributing to recruiting challenges for the red-hot construction industry, leading some builders to defer or even cancel projects as they seek to fill record-high job vacancies.

Project delays are not only financially costly for clients and their contractors but can have wider disruptive effects as well, Chris Gower, chief operating officer for PCL Constructors Inc.’s buildings group, said in an interview. Gower said a lack of labour can hit everyone from families expecting to move into a new home to hospitals that need to get up and running in order to start treating patients.

Gower said PCL, one of the largest construction companies in Canada, has been turning down many opportunities “simply because we don’t have the resources to manage it,” something he said they wouldn’t have done two years ago.

“It’s probably one of the toughest labour markets we’ve seen in a while,” he said, noting the Edmonton-based company’s Canadian and U.S. businesses are both feeling the effects. “This scarcity of labour is driving up costs and it’s also making us have to have to make tough decisions to turn down work.”

Source: Financial Post

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