Site C Employment Numbers Slowing for the Winter

Travis Fortnum

An update on Site C construction - we're getting a fresh look at just how many people are working on the massive project.

Maybe you've seen the numbers, or maybe you've seen the headlines. Employment figures are down at Site C. The most recent available data is from November. And yes, it shows a dip.

"We have a lag in our employment numbers,” explains David Conway, Community Relations Manager for Site C. “We collect employment numbers from our prime contractors. And then they collect numbers of subcontractors working for them."

In November, Site C employed 3,463 people - down more than 200 from October’s 3,681. The all-time high was last September, with 3,746.

It's important to remember. At this point, site c is still a construction project. These cold winter months are not ideal for working outdoors.

If you compare the numbers from November 2018, to 2017 - you'll see there are nearly 1800 more people employed at the site. The figures are expected to get back on the upswing once things start warming up again.

"BC Hydro is committed to creating site c employment opportunities in the peace region and for British Columbians,” Conway says. “The project typically sees some workforce reduction as it heads into the winter months.

“There're varying activities that you can't do when you're in winter conditions - freezing conditions. And there's a downward trend, and you see that if you look at the number over the course of three years where there's typically a drop during the winter months, and then you see a pickup again in the spring."

The numbers reached their lowest point in December of 2017, with just over 1,525 workers. But come January, it started to rebound, with a jump to 1,743 - followed by consistent gains through the summer and early fall.

So while these latest numbers show a slip - and it's likely the next set of data will too - it's expected 2019 will follow the same trend - with the possibility of meeting and even surpassing the all-time high.

You can read the employment data for November 2018 here.

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