Both the residential and non-residential construction sectors on Vancouver Island have hit highs not seen since 2008, according to the latest report from the region's construction association.

The sector employs 34,200 people — an increase of 9.6 per cent compared with the previous quarter — the report found.

The industry has been breaking records the island for the past 18 to 24 months, said Greg Baynton, CEO for the Vancouver Island Construction Association.

"Our members are recruiting people from wherever they can find them, basically," Baynton told On the Island host Gregor Craigie. "But generally within Canada, and always British Columbia first."

The construction boom was initially driven by a residential sector that has been red-hot thanks to low inventory and rising prices, but in recent months commercial and industrial projects have fuelled growth in construction, Baynton said.

"When you have that much residential construction being built, you need to have all the supporting infrastructure: schools, hospitals and retail to support it," he said. 

"We are actually seeing some renovations of the existing buildings, the commercial buildings, as well to support all that housing."

Home renovations have also been keeping contractors busy, Baynton said.

Construction boom

Cranes over Victoria's downtown are a sign the construction sector is booming. (Mike McArthur/CBC)