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VANCOUVER, B.C. – ICBA released its annual survey of 1,000 construction companies across the province.

Construction in B.C. employs more than 240,000 people and accounts for nine percent of the provincial GDP.  According to the survey, some employers expect to give workers a 3.5 percent raise in 2021, and in 2022, another 4.2 percent increase.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was felt by construction companies, which limited 2020 pay increases to just 0.5 percent, which is roughly the rate of inflation. Companies also reported fewer tenders for new projects, with just 38 percent of companies expecting more work in 2021 than they had in 2020.

Even though construction was deemed an essential service, according to ICBA, COVID-19 reduced construction volumes by around 15 percent in 2020 and is forecasting a decline of 5 percent in 2021.

According to the survey, there is still a strong demand for construction workers in all regions of the province. Companies that do glazing, insulation, and steel companies that were surveyed stated they needed more workers, 94 percent of mobile crane/equipment companies said they needed more skilled operators, 92 percent of roofing companies are looking for roofers, and 91 percent of pipefitter employers are looking for more labourers.

The survey also noted that in the North, 56 percent of contractors are expecting more work in 2021, and 67 percent of companies say they are short workers, especially carpenters and labourers.

The ICBA survey can be found here.

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