Labour Market Outlook
A labour market outlook takes a look at trends that are expected in the future labour market. After recovering from the economic downturn, B.C.’s economy and labour market are showing signs of improvement. The BC Labour Market Outlook 2010-2020 offers projections such as:
- Labour market conditions have been improving along with the economy as total employment in the province grew by 1.7 per cent to 2.3 million in 2010, almost back to pre-recession level.
- As the economy and labour market continue to recover, the gross domestic product or GDP (the total value of all goods and services produced in B.C.) is likely to grow by by 2.6 per cent in 2012.
- Employment in the province is expected to increase by 1.8 per cent in 2012.
- Unemployment is forecast to drop from 7.5 per cent in 2011 to 6.5 percent in 2015 before declining to 5.2 per cent in 2020.
- Over the next several years, more than one million job openings are expected across the province.
- The number of workers needed will gradually become greater than the number of workers available.
- The gains noted in B.C.'s economy and labour market are expected to continue.
Examining labour market trends is a powerful way to understand what’s happening in the economy now and what’s likely to happen in the future. The Job Trend Tracker is an interactive tool that provides a comprehensive and visually engaging view of present and future labour market conditions using maps, graphs and a bubble chart.
Our economy has undergone some major changes from being based on natural resources such as forestry, mining and fishing to a growing demand in the services sector. Four out of five workers in B.C. are employed in the service sector. The top five employment groups are sales and service occupations; business, finance and administrative occupations; trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations; scientific-related occupations; and management occupations.
As a result of the economic downturn in 2008, the demand for skilled trade workers slowed after several years of rapid employment growth. However, as we transition from recession to recovery, the Trades Outlook Report 2010-2020 predicts that labour market conditions are going to tighten, with labour shortages for the trades sector as a whole expected by 2016.
See WorkBC’s comprehensive report, Challenges and Opportunities: British Columbia's Labour Market Future to explore how B.C.’s labour market is changing and what these changes could mean in the future.
The increased growth of small businesses and self employment in B.C. represents a real opportunity. With approximately 96 per cent of high technology businesses falling into this category, small business is a key factor driving job creation and economic growth in the province. For those interested in self-employment, visit Be Your Own Boss to see if running your own business is right for you.