Follow us on:   
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in comments
Filter by Content Type
Resource Listings

A Snapshot of Labour Market Conditions in B.C.


by Kerry Young

Like many other parts of Canada, B.C.’s labour market was strongly impacted by the recent recession. It was only in the latter half of 2011 that B.C.’s employment exceeded the pre-recession peak.


Leading the recovery is the services sector, which accounts for eight in 10 jobs in B.C. Of the 43,400 jobs added compared to this time last year, nearly all (97%) have been in the services sector, with over half of these in health and social services. Goods sector industries that have experienced employment gains include natural resources (+2,300) and manufacturing (+18,800), offsetting losses in agriculture, utilities and construction.


Looking ahead to 2020, over one million job openings are expected in B.C. Roughly one-third of job openings are expected to be new jobs driven by economic growth, while the remaining two-thirds are expected to be replacement openings as a result of retirements and deaths.


By occupation, the most job openings are expected across a range of skill levels and industries, and include retail salespersons, clerical occupations, truck drivers, nurses, social services workers, and administrative officers. Trades occupations as a whole are expected to account for one in 10 job openings. Among trades, the most job openings are expected for chefs and cooks, carpenters and cabinetmakers, and automotive service technicians.


Occupations with above-average demand growth are predominantly health-related, such as physicians, nurses, medical technologists and technicians, and therapists. At the same time, occupations such as engineers, professionals and technicians in computer and information systems, human resource professionals, and graphic arts technicians are expected to have above-average growth rates.


While uncertainty remains, labour market conditions in B.C. are improving. The number of workers needed across the province is expected to increase faster than the supply, leading to excess demand conditions for the province overall by 2016.


Kerry Young is the Director of Labour Market Forecasting and Analysis in the Labour Market Programs Branch of the B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. The Branch is the home of, a one-stop website with career planning tools and LMI products, including the BC Labour Market Outlook and Job Trend Tracker.

Sources: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, June 2012 Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, British Columbia Labour Market Scenario Model, 2010-2020

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 10:08

1 Comment

  1. December 9, 2012, 7:30 am   / 

    […] A Snapshot Of Labour Market Conditions in B.C. by Kerry Young […]

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar