2017 is ready to ring in where 2016 is leaving off for employment growth in British Columbia – and that’s at the top spot in Canada.
Thanks to a Canada-leading job-growth rate of 3.0%, more than 69,000 jobs have been created in B.C. during the first 11 months of 2016 compared to the same period of last year. And with over 2.3 million people working in the province and the country’s lowest unemployment rate, this good news is set to continue into the New Year.
For 2017, private sector financial institutes such as RBC Economics, BMO Capital Markets, Desjardins, Scotiabank along with the Conference Board of Canada are projecting that job growth in B.C., while moderate, will once again outpace Canada as a whole and will either be leading all other provinces or be right near the top. In addition, these forecasters expect B.C.’s unemployment rate to continue its downward trajectory next year, to sit between 6.1% and a low of 5.7%.
Furthermore, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s (CFIB) released its Job Vacancy Report in December. The voice of over 109,000 small businesses from across the country says B.C.’s private sector job vacancy rate is the highest among provinces at 3.5% and the highest it has been in the province since 2008 – prior to the global recession.
To support long-term job creation and grow British Columbia’s economy, the Province launched the BC Jobs Plan in 2011. Since its launch, B.C. has gained nearly 175,000 new jobs with 88% of these in full-time positions.
B.C. has gone from having Canada’s fourth-lowest unemployment rate in 2011 to having the lowest in Canada at 6.1% in November 2016. This marks six consecutive months B.C. has had the lowest unemployment rate in the country.
These positive reports build on the most recent Labour Market Outlook which forecasts nearly one million job openings in B.C. by 2025.
To help fill these one million job openings, of which almost 80% will require post-secondary education or training, the Province is realigning B.C.’s education system and training programs with the needs of the labour market through B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.
Over the next decade, $3 billion of training investment is being directed to focus on skills and programs for future in-demand jobs. Job openings in the next 10 years are expected in major occupational groups including: sales and service; health; trades, transport and equipment operators; manufacturing and utilities; and natural resources and agriculture.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“2016 has been an amazing year for job creation in B.C. It is because of the hard work of our small businesses, entrepreneurs, employers and the skilled workforce in our Province that has helped to strengthen B.C.’s diversified economy, allowing our province to lead the nation in job creation and economic growth. This is something that all British Columbians should be proud of as their hard work has made this achievement possible.”
Grey Kyllo, Parliamentary Secretary for the BC Jobs Plan –
“While growth continues to be sluggish in the global economy, B.C. is in an enviable place in the country, leading the nation in job creation and economic growth. We will continue to make B.C. an attractive place for businesses with a positive investment climate and low taxes while also ensuring our province’s future labour needs will be met so that people can find jobs close to their families.”