Ontario contractors overall feeling confident about 2022 – OCS survey
By Anthony Capkun
April 18, 2022 – Ontario construction contractors are feeling confident about their business prospects this year, according to the annual contractor survey conducted by the Ontario Construction Secretariat.
Overall, 82% of the 500 general and trade industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) contractors surveyed have a positive outlook on Ontario’s construction industry, with more than a third feeling they will do more business this year compared to last, and 48% forecasting their business to at least stay the same.
Only 11% expect their business to drop in 2022.
“As with most sectors of the economy, it has been a difficult time in construction over the past two years,” said Robert Bronk, CEO, OCS. “But we are starting to feel more confident that we are emerging from the pandemic, and we are seeing that reflected in the attitudes of Ontario ICI construction businesses.”
Confidence is highest in central (39%) and eastern Ontario (38%), while contractors in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) were right on the average, with 36% feeling good about their business prospects.
The outlook is more cautious in the north, where only 30% feel business will improve this year.
The survey also finds that, on average, contractors are expecting the number of people they employ to grow by 8% this year, with 94% reporting they are expecting to hire more workers (43%) or stay at the same level (51%) as 2021.
Despite the positive outlook, labour and material remain important concerns for contractors. On a 7-point scale (where 7 represents a major concern and 1 means no concern at all), 45% of contractors rated the availability of labour as a 7, and 44% gave material costs the highest rating. Also of significant concern is the quality of skilled trades labour (38%) and availability of materials (34%).
The pandemic continues to have an impact on the industry. More than half of contractors (52%) have had projects postponed in the past year or later this year; however, 2/3 of those have already been re-scheduled.
A further 38% of contractors have had projects outright cancelled, and more than 3/4 (77%) have experienced significant supply chain disruptions in the past year.
DOWNLOAD the full survey (PDF): OCS Construction Survey 2022 FULL
The Ontario Construction Secretariat was formed in 1993 as a joint labour/management organization representing 25 unionized construction trades and their contractor partners in Ontario’s industrial, commercial and institutional construction sector.