Dec 16 2002 - Fastest Growing Segment of GTA, Home Building Employs One-in-Ten

January 18, 2005

December 16 2002 

Fastest Growing Segment of GTA, Home Building Employs One-in-Ten
Construction sector now larger than auto industry

Toronto – This year, approximately 265,000 people in the Greater Toronto Area will be directly or indirectly employed by the residential construction sector. This figure represents 9.7 per cent of all jobs in the GTA, making it the most rapidly growing segment of the GTA economy.

According to Will Dunning Inc. Economic Research, direct employment in the Ontario construction industry eclipses the employment figures of the automotive industry, traditionally seen as the region’s job creation powerhouse. Between the years 1998 and 2001, the construction industry created 37,300 new jobs, while the automotive parts and assembly industries created just one-tenth that figure.

"We are not surprised by these findings," says GTHBA president Sheldon Libfeld. "The residential construction sector has been fuelled by several consecutive years of record new home sales and is a major contributor to our local, provincial and national well being, especially when other large industries and the overall economy are in decline."

Over the past four years, 293,000 jobs have been created and 111,000 or 38 per cent of them have been generated by the home building industry as a result of increased new home sales and renovations.

Those new jobs include the skilled tradespeople found on job sites (carpenters, bricklayers, electricians and plumbers) and those indirectly associated with the industry. These workers include service professionals (community planners, lawyers, architects, engineers), materials and components manufacturers, and those who build or install appliances, furniture and landscaping. Also included are jobs created in other sectors through spin-off effects.

"The home building industry is an invisible giant when it comes to job creation because five out of six jobs are performed away from construction sites," says Libfeld. "Many of the jobs indirectly related to construction are invisible to the public, including, for example, the roles of lenders, brokers and other professionals during the land assembly and planning stages."

Dunning also indicates that the home building and renovation industry in the GTA is vital to the continued prosperity of the region, the province and the country. Among other highlights, the report finds that in 2001 the construction of new homes and the renovation of existing homes resulted in $13.3 billion in total economic activity. The housing industry contributed an estimated $4.1 billion to all levels of government through income taxes, sales taxes, building permit fees, development charges, and contributions to employment insurance and the Canada Pension Plan.

The municipalities of the GTA collected $630 million last year from building permit fees and construction levies. In future, these governments will collect more than $134 million in property taxes from new homes built in 2001.

Further economic highlights are contained in POWERHOUSE, a new GTHBA publication that outlines the economic and social impact of residential construction in the GTA. "Including this information in our new publication and making it available to the public helps us define and reinforce the industry’s significance in our community," says Libfeld.

Copies of POWERHOUSE are available to journalists by calling the GTHBA at 416-391-3450. CLICK HERE to view the publication online; a PDF version is also available for download.


Danny Roth/ Beth Merrick/ or
Rhoda Eisenstadt
The Communications Group Inc.
Suzanna Cohen
Greater Toronto Home Builders' Association
or 416-453-3214 (cell)