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Report/Press release

Construction Workers’ Perception of Temporary Foreign Workers in Metro Vancouver

This document is a key resource




Ahna Kim and Dominique Gross


The Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program has requirements concerning wage and job conditions for the hiring of TFWs so that there is no adverse effect on local workers. Basic economic theory predicts, however, that these conditions are likely to affect the economic prospects of resident workers in the long run, thereby possibly generating negative perceptions from them. Using the results of a survey of resident construction workers in Metro Vancouver, we show that a large minority considers financial prospects and job security to be altered by the availability of TFWs. The degree of negative sentiments, however, varies with personal characteristics such as age and skill level. Also resident workers tend to overestimate the size of the temporary foreign workforce, which increases negative adverse perception. Hence, policies that improve information on TFW program and on availability of jobs may help alleviate negative sentiments.

Series title

Working Paper Series

Document number

No 09-07

Responsible institution


File Attachments


Economic sectors

Construction trades helpers and labourers

Content types

Policy analysis and Numbers of migrant workers

Target groups


Geographical focuses

British Columbia

Spheres of activity