The State of the Industry

The AHBRSC is involved in developing a Labour Market Information (LMI) Model for our industry in order to chart our course forward to a sustainable future.

Our strategy in this effort is to:

  • Understand and benchmark where we are now
  • With industry employers, workers and associations, identify where we need to be
  • With all partners, provide industry leadership to get there

2014 LMI Benchmark Report & 2018 Update Report

In support of these efforts, the AHBRSC works closely with LMI experts in industry, government, and education to regularly commission a comprehensive research report on the state of our industry. The report takes a close examination of secondary data to review demand side indicators (gross domestic product, housing starts, forecasts) against various supply side factors (labour force characteristics, occupations, labour market conditions). In 2014, the Benchmark Report identified several policy implications that focussed on:

  • Importance of Residential Building Construction (RBC)
  • Carpentry specialties
  • Recruitment
  • Succession
  • Renovations
  • Labour mobility

The 2018 Update Report considered these same issues against data gathered from the 2016 Census, together with current data and analysis from a number of other sources, organizations and government agencies. Findings continue to highlight the impact of two areas on the health of the industry in Nova Scotia:

Skilled worker shortages due to:

  • Ageing workforce and fewer new people entering the system
  • Low levels of participation in formal training

Building houses differently (impact of House as a System) requires:

  • Trade-specialized technical training
  • Project/site manager training
  • New models for training and certification
  • Supports for small employers

The report continues to be reviewed with industry partners and LMI colleagues, and through stakeholder discussions with Labour and Advanced Education, regional Employment Engagement Specialists, the Centre for Employment Innovation, and others. The report is also being used to identify research gaps that can be informed through interim customized studies – particularly focussing on the prospects for renovation activity in the province, the demand for seniors’ housing, and regional opportunities for increased involvement of under-represented populations. Please become involved and provide any input for our LMI work for the residential sector in Nova Scotia and Canada.

The 2014 report and user guide, and the 2018 LMI update report, are available for download here:

Benchmark Report and LMI User Guide Residential Building Construction Nova Scotia – February 2018
» Download 35 Page Report (3 MB PDF)

Benchmark Report and LMI User Guide Residential Building Construction Nova Scotia – April 2014
» Download 17 Page Report (493 KB PDF)

LMI User Guide Residential Building Construction Nova Scotia – May 2014
» Download 4 Page Guide (143 KB PDF)

Earlier Research and Reports

Training and Certification Needs Assessment for the Carpentry Trades – June 2011
» Download the 94 Page Report (1 MB PDF)

(PLAR) Prior Learning Assessment Recognition model development and testing – March 2011
» Download the 40 Page Document (1.2 MB PDF)

Get a professional edge

Residential Construction Site Manager (RCSM) Training Programs

Level 1 and Level 2 RCSM programs develop a depth of knowledge that empowers companies and site managers to stand out as “best in class”. AHBRSC is now moving forward with pilot delivery of Level 3.


Where to access training

Check out these AHBRSC Training Partners

  • SkillsonlineNS (CoursePark)
  • NSCC Courses for Residential Trades