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Building industry a major economic driver

The building, development and professional renovation industry creates thousands of jobs each and every year, and is one of the largest employers in the GTA.

In 2015 our industry employed 196,603 people in new home construction, renovation and repair. That’s 40,000 more jobs than in 2014, according to estimates prepared for the Canadian Home Builders’ Association based on Statistics Canada and CMHC data.

New housing starts, the number of new homes breaking ground, directly influence the number of jobs in the industry. In 2015 there were 44,092 new housing starts across the GTA, up 47 per cent from the previous year.

Hundreds of industry professionals are involved in bringing a new community to life. Each construction crane represents up to 500 jobs.

There are many different professional involved in the home building process, which begins long before the shovels break ground. For instance, urban planners, lawyers and architects work to plan and design the development. Marketers, designers and salespeople help bring the project to market. Skilled tradespeople such as framers, plumbers and electricians help with the on-site construction of the home.

Residential renovation is another key component of the industry’s economic contribution, responsible for half of the jobs in the industry in 2015.

The industry paid $11.4 billion in wages in 2015. Much of that was then used to buy things like groceries, clothes and gas, which supports growth in other industries and contributes to the economic prosperity of the GTA.

Last year the industry contributed more than $30 billion to the GTA economy, according to Statistics Canada. This results in significant tax revenue for all levels of government, which can be put toward things like repairing and building roads, sewers, schools and hospitals, all things which improve GTA residents’ quality of life.

The industry has a major impact on the provincial economy. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne cited housing starts as the biggest driver of GDP growth in our province in 2015.

A healthy new-home construction, renovation and repair industry is a significant contributor to the GTA economy and is very important to the economic well-being of our region, province and country. It’s essential to all of us.


About the Author: Bryan Tuckey is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and is a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments.

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