Ontario ICI building permits decline for four consecutive months: OCS

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Statistics Canada’s building permit data indicates that ICI permit values have fallen in Ontario for four consecutive months, the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) says in an economic update report released on April 11. Building permit values declined by 50% in this period, from just more than $1.5 billion in October to about $1 billion in February.

“While all three ICI sectors in Ontario saw declines in permit values, a drop-off in commercial permits in 2022 is particularly noteworthy,” the OCS report says.

“In the last half of 2021 (July-December), commercial permit values in Ontario never fell below $800 million in any single month, with values averaging $893 million per month. In January 2022, permit values fell by half to $447 million, rising to $604 million in February. This two-month total ($1.05 billion), is the lowest for Ontario’s commercial sector in any two-month period in the past three years.

“Looking at permit values year-over-year, ICI permits in Ontario rose by 6.2% so far this year compared to the January-February period in 2021. A 72.7% year-over-year increase in industrial permit values contributed to the ICI sector’s growth. The industrial permit value total for January ($499 million), was the highest total for the sector in any month since April 2019.”

Commercial permit values declined by 12.0% and institutional fell by 7.1% over January-February last year.

Labour Force Survey data shows Ontario’s construction employment and labour force have both increased for three consecutive months., OCS reports. “The construction industry’s unemployment rate has remained at the same level (6.2%) for the first three months of 2022 (January-March). The construction industry unemployment rate in Ontario in the January-March period is more than double that of the rates of the previous three months (October-December, 2021). The average construction unemployment rate for these months was 3.0%.”

The general unemployment rate in Ontario rose from 5.6% in February to 5.8% in March.


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