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Industry Trends for 2019

There is no shortage of changes, both positive and negative, facing the construction industry in 2019. Here are the top 10 items on the Canadian Construction industry radar for this year:

1) Confidence in Canada
Approval issues for major projects and Canada’s relative tax disadvantage versus the U.S. could cause trouble for builders as investors think twice about their Canadian spending.

2) Competition for Talent
Despite near-record employment and a strong economy, the industry faces a significant challenge from an impending wave of retirements and competition for the next generation of talent.

3) Inclusive Workplaces
The construction industry has worked hard to better integrate women and First Nations on job sites. While attracting new recruits remains tough, companies are also shifting their focus beyond diversity and pursuing more inclusive, flexible workplaces.

4) Social Procurement
The federal government has tied social policy into its $180 billion infrastructure plan through, among other strategies, community employment benefits. It’s a trend the CCA expects to continue.

5) Millennial Leadership
Boomers are retiring and family-owned businesses are being passed down to sons and daughters. The culture of construction is certain to change as tech-savvy Millennials take the reins.

6) Pay to Play
Building new and repairing aging infrastructure isn’t cheap. Institutions such as the Canada Infrastructure Bank, as well as tools like toll roads, are expected to play a larger role as investors look for revenue streams.

7) Innovation
Industry players are expected to step up their efforts to leverage new partnerships and technologies in 2019. Ultimately, these new solutions should solve long-standing industry problems.

8) Privacy
Smart cities, smart roads and related data-gathering technologies are expected to become increasingly important. Keeping the data under wraps and collecting it with permission will prove a challenge.

9) Productivity
Technology and innovation will continue to help the sector improve productivity, while embracing new strategies, such as accelerated capital depreciation for equipment, could also be beneficial.

10) Trade War and Trade Woes
Canada, Mexico and the U.S. finally agreed to a new trade deal, but the months-long battle along with steel and aluminum tariffs should have companies looking for non-traditional suppliers.

Source: OnSite Magazine – Canada’s Construction Magazine since 1957

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