Today Premier Christy Clark and Minister Shirley Bond released the 5-Year Update to the BC Jobs Plan, renewing a long-term focus on technology, innovation and specific steps to address challenges facing rural communities.
The 5-Year Update shows the progress made in the province since 2011 as British Columbia has become one of Canada’s strongest and most diverse economies. Highlights demonstrate that the Province:
- Jumped from third to leading the country in economic growth;
- Moved from ninth place to leading the country in job creation with 191,500 jobs created;
- Progressed from the fourth lowest unemployment rate to the lowest unemployment rate in Canada at 5.8%;
- Increased exports 10% to $36 billion annually; and
- Achieved 15 of the 19 ambitious targets set out in 2011 BC Jobs Plan.
The 5-Year Update underlines the focus on the eight key sectors that form the foundation of the provincial economy, as well as one new sector, Advanced Manufacturing. It also identifies three competitiveness drivers integral to B.C.’s economy and 25 new aspirational targets for the Jobs Plan.
While the BC Jobs Plan has established a roadmap for economic success, the Province recognizes that there remain challenges. That is why the Province announced two initiatives to help address the risks facing our rural communities, as well as the need for fostering talent in our growing technology sector.
B.C.’s rural economies and natural resource industries have been the backbone of our economy but are shouldering the risk posed by the global downturn in commodity prices. These challenges require a thoughtful response and that is why the Province is establishing a Rural Development Strategy that will support B.C.’s rural communities through policy and investment initiatives. The effort will be led by Donna Barnett, Minister of State for Rural Economic Development and Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.
As well, the Premier today appointed UBC President Professor Santa Ono to create an Innovation Network in the province. The Network will foster greater collaboration between public post-secondary institutions and innovation-driven industries to ensure that British Columbians are prepared for jobs and careers in the innovation economy, particularly in the province’s vibrant technology sector.
Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia –
“Our government’s economic plan is clear: creating an environment where hardworking British Columbians can get good-paying jobs to support their families. By focusing on resiliency, and a diversity of markets and sectors expecting solid growth, we’re putting our province in a strong position to make the most of our opportunities in a globally competitive marketplace.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“We have had some great success in the five years since we launched the Jobs Plan, but we know there is more work to be done. Looking ahead, we’re focused on economic development for our rural communities and leveraging the growing technology sectors to build strength and diversity across our province.”
Donna Barnett, Minister of State for Rural Economic Development –
“I’ve lived in rural communities all my life and know too well the challenges facing rural communities. Building on the early success of the $75-million Rural Dividend, I’m looking forward to developing a new Rural Economic Development Strategy with the input of our Rural Advisory Council. The goal of the strategy is to support thriving, prosperous rural economies.”
Greg Kyllo, Parliamentary Secretary for the BC Jobs Plan –
“The foundation for lasting prosperity in our province was laid in 2011 with the launch of the BC Jobs Plan. Looking back, the 19 economic targets we set were ambitious, but we have met or exceeded nearly all of the targets and continue to make progress on the others. The success of the Jobs Plan is reflected in the fact that B.C. now leads the nation in economic growth and job creation.”
- B.C. added 191,500 new jobs since 2011, 96% of which are in the private sector or self-employed.
- At 5.8%, B.C.’s unemployment rate is the lowest in the country.
- The province has a record 2.4 million people working.
- B.C. has the highest provincial GDP growth in the country.
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan, visit: engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan
To find out more information about the #BCTech Strategy, visit: bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca
To find out about B.C.’s Climate Leadership Plan, visit: engage.gov.bc.ca/climateleadership/
To learn more about career planning and B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, visit: www.workbc.ca/blueprintbuilder
A backgrounder follows.