B.C. might be short 15,000 construction workers this year

Dec 19 2017, 8:22 pm

A new survey from the BC Construction Association suggests we might be facing major labour shortages in 2016 – in fact, we could be down 15,000 workers this year due to an increase in construction activity and an aging labour demographic.


Two-thirds of skilled trade workers are over the age of 45 and not enough people are entering into the field, according to the survey. Beyond that, 94% of construction employers say they’re looking to hire in 2016, and 50% of employers say they’ll offer higher wages than they did in 2015.

“To avoid labour shortages that could stunt economic growth, industry and governments need to continue to work together to skill-up BC’s workforce,” says BCCA President Manely McLachlan.

Despite these numbers, it seems more British Columbians who left the province to seek work in a previously booming Alberta economy are making the trek back. About 45% of employers say they hired a worker last year who came directly from Alberta’s oil and gas sector.

Additionally, more young people are getting into construction directly from high school – that number is up 15% since 2014.

The average salary of a B.C. construction worker is $56,170, according to BCCA statistics.

To read the full survey, click here.