High levels of activity are forecast in construction in 2019

December 5, 2018

For 2018, economic activity in the construction industry will have attained a high volume of work, at 161.5 million hours worked, representing an increase of 9% compared to the preceding year. Construction will continue strong in 2019: the level of activity is expected to remain high, with a forecast 156.6 million hours worked.

These figures appear in Perspectives 2019, a document published today by the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ).

Regional data are available below.

Economic activity by sector

In the civil engineering and roadwork sector, a slight slowdown is forecast in 2019, with activity falling back by about 11%. Essentially, the completion of the new Champlain Bridge will have a major impact on activity in this sector. The site for the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) should mitigate this loss.

Economic prospects for the industrial sector are positive for 2019, thanks to the firming up of several projects, including the Whabouchi lithium mine, a new Kruger plant, and a Medicago vaccine-production plant.

The institutional and commercial sector is going full steam ahead. After recording the best year in its history in 2018, the year 2019 is expected to be stable. Major sites are active in the healthcare sector, including the last phase of the CHUM and the new CHU hospital complex in Québec City. Commercial construction is also dynamic thanks to a number of large projects.

Finally the residential sector continues to remain at an unexpectedly high level of activity. Household confidence remains good, feeding demand. With 42,000 housing starts forecast in 2019, activity is returning to a more sustainable level in this sector.


Regional activity
Variation in number of hours worked
2018 2019
Region Estimated Forecast
Bas-Saint-Laurent - Gaspésie 10% -

Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean

2% 1%
Québec City 10% 1%

Mauricie – Bois-Francs

10% -3%
Estrie 9% 4%

Greater Montreal

 10% -5%
Outaouais 8% 4%


11% 3%
Baie-James 10% 10%


- -7%
All of Québec