To say there are many changes in the economy is an understatement. We're seeing the decline in oil prices and the fall of the Canadian dollar. This changing economic landscape is estimated to slow growth in the energy-producing provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. However, the great news is that in other provinces such as Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia may benefit from lower energy costs, a declining Canadian dollar and stronger U.S. economy, with preliminary results showing moderate increases in both residential and non-residential construction.
Regardless of the current market conditions, skilled labour is vital to propelling Canada's economy forward. We foresee that the skilled trades will remain an excellent career choice, since employers will need highly skilled workers as the economy rebounds, which it will, and there are still industries where labour challenges persist. In fact there are reports that some oil companies are taking a strategic approach, snapping up skilled trade workers from companies that are cutting costs by letting labour go. Additionally, an aging workforce is still a considerable challenge for many employers that will need to be addressed for many years to come, regardless of the fluctuation in oil prices.
Construction, which now employs one in 14 Canadian workers, is an industry that presents tremendous opportunity, since more than one-quarter of its workforce will retire over the next decade. That opens up close to 250,000 new positions, right across the country.
The skilled trades continue to offer young Canadians great opportunities.