Skilled Trades Shortage is Costing Canadians Money, Economists Warn

Shortage of skilled tradespeople is hitting all Canadians in the pocketbook, economists say

“Rising Costs and the Impact of Skilled Trades: Why You Should Consider a Job in the Trades

In a world where the cost of living seems to be ever-increasing, the shortage of qualified individuals in skilled trades is exacerbating the issue. Whether you need a mechanic to fix your car, a chef to cook your meal, or a carpenter to renovate your home, the impact of this shortage is far-reaching and undeniable.

The Ripple Effect of a Shortage

The shortage of skilled tradespeople is not just affecting homeowners; it is impacting every consumer in one way or another. From increased service call fees for household repairs to rising menu prices in restaurants, the domino effect of this shortage is clear. According to Simon Gaudreault, chief economist of the CFIB, small Canadian firms lost $38 billion due to labour shortages in 2022, with the construction sector bearing a significant portion of that burden.

The High Cost of a Shortage

Skilled trades have always commanded a good wage, but with fewer individuals available to do the work, salaries have skyrocketed. As Mandy Rennehan, CEO of Freshco construction company, aptly puts it, “It’s a bad time to be a consumer if you want anything done that involves a tradesperson.” The demand for skilled trades is high, but the supply is dwindling as approximately 700,000 Canadian tradespeople are set to retire by the end of the decade.

The Impact on Affordability

The shortage of skilled tradespeople is not only affecting the cost of services but also impacting the affordability of housing. As construction costs rise, fewer purpose-built rental or condo buildings are being constructed, resulting in higher rents and housing prices. Steven Tobin, CEO of LabourX, emphasizes that Canadians are already feeling the effects of this shortage as part of the affordability crisis.

A Call for Action

While the shortage of skilled tradespeople presents a complex problem, solutions are within reach. Providing flexibility around training, such as allowing licensed tradespeople to take on more apprentices, can help alleviate the shortage. Additionally, giving more weight to immigration candidates with experience in the trades could bolster the workforce.

In Conclusion

The shortage of skilled tradespeople is not just a concern for the industry; it affects all of us. From rising costs of living to the unavailability of affordable housing, the impact of this shortage is palpable. As we navigate these challenges, it’s crucial to recognize the value of skilled trades and work towards solutions that benefit both businesses and consumers alike.”



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