Immigration drives construction, provincial economy

When you want to see how strong B.C.’s construction industry is going to be, look at the number of people deciding to call British Columbia home.

The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association examined the link between immigration, construction and the economy in its recently released Winter 2010-11 edition of Construction Monitor.

“Almost everyone in Canada will tell you that immigrants built this country. They came to this nation and built lives for themselves and their children,” said ICBA president Philip Hochstein. “But people might be surprised to hear that immigrants are still driving the economy – especially in B.C. and especially in construction.”

Hochstein said the link between immigration and construction is clear – and its importance will only grow.

“Instead of taking jobs away, immigrants help grow the job pool and drive construction – housing, commercial and industrial,” Hochstein said. “Of all provinces, the construction sector is the largest contributor to the economy here in B.C. Immigration can help keep that strong.”

Immigration will continue growing in importance for our economy as declining birthrates flip B.C.’s natural rate of increase to a natural rate of decrease.

“Other provinces may track other economy-driving indicators like oil, agriculture, or manufacturing and financial services, but it’s clear that B.C. needs to keep an eye on immigration,” Hochstein added. “All British Columbians will win if we continue to see people from across the globe decide to call B.C. home.”

A full copy of the report is at