Regional Labour Market Projections
Regularly collected data enables you to compare B.C.'s seven regions for their growth, employment and business prospects by means of the outlooks for population, earnings, occupations, family makeup, and more. From these predictions, the Labour Market Outlook posts the most likely scenarios for regional growth or stability. The outlook also compares each of the regional outlooks to that of the entire province, with this overall forecast:
Uneven Growth Lies Ahead
For all of B.C., the expected economic growth by 2020 will average 1.4 per cent per year. Only two regions promise to top that rate: the Lower Mainland/Southwest and the Northeast. The Cariboo’s projected rate is the lowest at .05 per cent per year.
In all B.C. regions, the likely demand for workers will outstrip labour force growth. Expect tight labour conditions at different times in different regions:
- between 2012 and 2015, in the Cariboo, North Coast/Nechako, Northeast and Vancouver Island/Coast regions, which will again see shortfalls towards 2020.
- starting in 2016, in the Lower Mainland/Southwest, Thompson-Okanagan and Kootenay.
Expect the three most largely populated regions to account for 90 per cent of the projected job openings. However, if moving to the Northeast, you could expect ongoing employment in this region, too. The Northeast has increased its 2010 job base by 47 per cent, and all high-employment regions create relatively more job opportunities than those with fewer openings to begin with.
Beyond the Labour Market Outlook
Each of the fact sheets in Regional and Community Facts gives you the figures collected by the municipality and regional district, from Alberni-Clayoquot to Thompson-Okanagan. Here you find job-related facts (labour force by industry) and facts that would guide business and investment:
- unemployment rate
- education levels, and more
If researching regions with a family's future in mind, you would find relevant data in the Socio-Economic Indices. These include an index ranking the 78 health regions for their livability:
- how much hardship exists generally
- how children and youth fare
- health and crime levels, and more
The overall regional socio-economic ratings are based on factors such as economy, crime, health and education. They rate each community, from the worst off to the best off, which allows you to compare areas based on actual statistics. For example:
- Revelstoke ranks twice as high as Penticton in overall livability
- Castlegar and Qualicum have about the same overall quality of life
BC Regional Socio-Economic Profiles provide a worthwhile information source for business and investment and for some professions (e.g., health care). You can view profiles by school district, health region, development region, etc. using boundary maps, population density and other starting points for your introduction to a region.
Local Area Economic Dependencies report the economic impact of changes to local economies — 63 local areas, 29 Forest Districts and eight Integrated Land Management Bureau Areas.