HPAC Magazine

Construction Payroll Employment Shows Growth Through Tough Times

The number of payroll employees rose in every sub-sector within construction, led by specialty trade contractors.

June 24, 2021   Logan Caswell

In April, as the third wave of COVID-19 in Canada took over, public health measures were tightened for most areas of the country. In Ontario, a province-wide stay-at-home order was implemented. Stricter public health measures were also re-instated in many parts of Quebec, including the suspension of various business activities, as well as the extension of curfews. With tighter restrictions, construction still saw over 25,000 more payroll employees working across the country, with most of the gains occurring in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

Payroll employment in construction exceeds pre-pandemic levels

The number of payroll employees rose in every sub-sector within construction, led by specialty trade contractors, and coincided with a 6.3% increase in building construction investment in April.

Compared with February 2020, there were 1.7% more payroll employees working in construction in April, and average weekly earnings were up 8.0% over the same period to $1,420.

Upward trend continues for average weekly earnings

Average weekly earnings rose from March to $1,129 in April as employment gains were driven by salaried and largely higher-paid employees.

Compared with February 2020, earnings were 8.0% higher in April 2021. The higher average weekly earnings since the beginning of the pandemic reflects a number of factors, including changes in the composition of employment by type of employee, occupation and industry.

The number of employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer also increased by 166,900 in April.

Average hours worked up for salaried employees

Hourly paid employees worked an average of 31.7 hours in April. Average hours worked per week for salaried employees was up 0.3% from March to 37.2.

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