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Impact of Rising Housing Prices on Construction Labour Markets in Canada's Big Cities: A Report for BuildForce

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Faced with increased demand, an aging labour force, and climate risk, there are concerns that the construction industry in Canada will face recruitment challenges over the next decade. With rising housing prices and related increases in commute times and often cost in global cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, there is concern these are pushing low-income residents to areas further from the downtown, potentially reducing the labour supply of construction workers in inner cities. To investigate this, we generated a preliminary synthesis of existing research on the impact of housing prices and commuting costs on labour markets in big cities, with a focus on the effects these might be having for workers in the construction sector. Overall, we found little research on urban construction labour markets in Canada’s biggest cities and no studies directly linking the labour market dynamics of the urban industry to housing and commute challenges. This is an area requiring further research.
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