Building permits, employment down

Value in Abbotsford/Mission down 45 per cent over previous month

Building permits, employment down

The value of building permits issued in the Abbotsford region continued to slump in April, declining 45 per cent over the previous month, according to the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA).

The value of building permits – called a “bedrock indicator” of the local economy by the VRCA – was also down over the first four months of the year.

There was $50.9 million worth of permits issued in the Abbotsford-Mission census metropolitan area, compared to just over $70 million in the first four months of 2014.

Those decreases are mirrored by a drop in the number of construction jobs, with employment dropping in the industry in May for the fourth straight month.

Around 9,300 people worked in the industry in May, a decrease of  nearly 2,500 jobs from last November.

In the Lower Mainland-Southwest Region however, the numbers are heading in the opposite direction, with building permits up over the previous year and employment also on the increase.

VRCA president Fiona Famuluk predicted that the Abbotsford area’s construction industry will likely rebound – although probably not before more jobs are lost.

“Prospects remain positive for building construction activity. The Abbotsford regional economy is improving and more new building investment will follow,” said Famulak.