The Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) has published data indicating a generally improving economic trend in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector of Ontario’s construction economy.
For example, permit applications spiked by 35 per cent in November 2016 to $1,120 million from $833 million in November 2015. While industrial permits declined by about a third to $140 million for the same period, commercial permits doubled to $670 million from $368 million. Institutional permits increased as well, to $310 million from $252 million.
Construction employment reached its highest point in December, at 520,300, OCS reported, quoting Statistics Canada data. However, the unemployment rate increased slightly to 6.4 per cent from 6.3 per cent.
Non-residential construction costs remained steady in Ottawa between the third quarter of 2015 and 2016, and only increased slightly in Toronto. However, inflation in Ontario overall declined in both November and December despite increasing energy costs, because of lower costs for goods and services.