February 14, 2018 1:11 pm

B.C.’s high demand for construction workers means higher wages

File photo. The Independent Contractors and Business Association says construction workers should see pay raises of nearly 10 per cent.

Julie Jacobson / AP Photo

B.C. construction companies say it’s becoming more and more difficult to find skilled workers.

With strong demand for workers, construction wages in British Columbia are growing at more than double the pace of inflation.

Companies surveyed by the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) say B.C. construction workers should see pay raises of nearly 10 per cent over the next two years.

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“With such strong demand for workers, construction wages are growing more than twice as fast as inflation,” said ICBA president Chris Gardner in a statement.

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“The need is intense. Every single glass company we surveyed this year said they needed more glaziers. For pipefitting companies, 93 per cent said they needed more help. Sheet metal workers, 91 per cent, electricians and plumbers, 89 per cent. The message is clear – if you want to work in construction, there’s a job out there for you.”

The survey has also found 82 per cent of construction companies in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Whistler regions are short of workers, especially carpenters, labourers and plumbers.

Construction in B.C. employs more than 225,000 people.

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