Stilewood Blog - Construction is booming in BC. There’s just one problem...


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Glance around any urban B.C. landscape and you’ll see the exciting construction boom happening in our province. There’s just one catch. Currently, BC lacks the labour force to fully populate the increasing construction jobs.

A February 14, 2018 Vancouver Sun article details this critical labour shortage. According to a survey released by Chris Gardner, chief executive officer of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA), the shortage will impact 90% of companies in several different trades. Meanwhile, 75% of BC companies report being unable to source and hire skilled workers.

We’ve summarized what we feel are the biggest takeaways from ICBA’s survey:

  • Wage increases are expected to average 4.5% this year across all trades surveyed, and 5.1% next year
  • 75% of companies surveyed said there are not enough qualified workers in the trade, up 16% from last year
  • 100% of employers of glaziers said they can’t find enough workers
  • 93% of employers of pipefitters said they can’t find enough workers
  • 91% of employers of sheet-metal workers said they can’t find enough workers
  • 89% of employers of electricians and plumbers said they can’t find enough workers

Now for the good news

The positive side of this news is that more than half of all contractors surveyed are expecting more work this year than last. The construction industry in British Columbia continues its boom, with no signs of slowing down. No question about it: Ours is a province of great opportunity, promise and potential.

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