Construction manpower demand forecasting: A comparative study of univariate time series, multiple regression and econometric modelling techniques

James M.W. Wong, Ping Chuen Chan, Yat Hung Chiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the performance of the vector error-correction (VEC) econometric modelling technique in predicting short- to medium-term construction manpower demand. Design/methodology/approach – The VEC modelling technique is evaluated with two conventional forecasting methods: the Box-Jenkins approach and the multiple regression analysis, based on the forecasting accuracy on construction manpower demand. Findings – While the forecasting reliability of the VEC modelling technique is slightly inferior to the multiple log-linear regression analysis in terms of forecasting accuracy, the error correction econometric modelling technique outperformed the Box-Jenkins approach. The VEC and the multiple linear regression analysis in forecasting can better capture the causal relationship between the construction manpower demand and the associated factors. Practical implications – Accurate predictions of the level of manpower demand are important for the formulation of successful policy to minimise possible future skill mismatch. Originality/value – The accuracy of econometric modelling technique has not been evaluated empirically in construction manpower forecasting. This paper unveils the predictability of the prevailing manpower demand forecasting modelling techniques. Additionally, economic indicators that are significantly related to construction manpower demand are identified to facilitate human resource planning, and policy simulation and formulation in construction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-29
Number of pages23
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2011


  • Box Jenkins
  • Error handling
  • Forecasting
  • Manpower planning
  • Multiple regression analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

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