Retail Trade

Overview

Employment summary

Growth (2019-2020):
-7.7%
Job growth (2019-2020):
-23,800
Total employment (2020):
286,700

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Key points
  • The industry is sensitive to general economic conditions, as well as to changing consumer trends.
  • Most of the employment in this industry occurs in the regions with the highest populations: Mainland / Southwest and Vancouver Island / Coast.
  • Wages for most workers in this industry are below the provincial average.

Wholesalers and retailers sell consumers goods that have been purchased from suppliers. The goods sold are produced locally or imported from other regions and other countries.
 
Wholesalers can be thought of as “middle men,” usually supplying goods for resale or industrial use.
 
Retailers generally deal directly with final consumers of goods, primarily individuals and households.
 
The Wholesale and Retail Trade industry includes everything from small corner stores to big-box chains and wholesale distribution centres.

Workforce

Gender

Employment by gender in 2020

  Men: 50%
  Women: 50%

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Provincial average in 2020

  Men: 52%
  Women: 48%

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Age groups

% of employees under 25 years of age

  • 2015
  • 2020
  • B.C. average (2020)

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

% of employees 55 years and older

  • 2015
  • 2020
  • B.C. average (2020)

N/A - Data not available

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Employment

Types of employment

2015 2020 B.C. average (2020)
Part time
(% of employees working part time)
2015
46%
2020
50%
B.C. average (2020)
21%
Self-employed
(% of employees who are self-employed)
2015
9%
2020
10%
B.C. average (2020)
18%
Temporary jobs
(% of employees in temporary jobs)
2015
11%
2020
9%
B.C. average (2020)
11%

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Workplace

% of workers in firms less than 20 employees

  • 2015
  • 2020
  • B.C. average (2020)

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

% of workers in private sector jobs

  • 2015
  • 2020
  • B.C. average (2020)

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Unemployment rate

  • 2015
  • 2020
  • B.C. average (2020)

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Earnings

Average hourly wages in this industry

Men

  • 2015
  • 2020
  • B.C. average (2020)

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Women

  • 2015
  • 2020
  • B.C. average (2020)

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Youth

  • 2015
  • 2020
  • B.C. average (2020)

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Location of work

Select your region:
Vancouver Island / Coast Mainland / Southwest Thompson-Okanagan Kootenay Cariboo Northeast North Coast & Nechako
  % employment of this industry
  % employment of all industries

Vancouver Island / Coast

Mainland / Southwest

Thompson-Okanagan

Kootenay

Cariboo

North Coast & Nechako

Northeast

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Employment outlook

2019 2024 2029
Forecasted employment
2019
284,900
2024
297,800
2029
308,800

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Forecasted average annual employment growth rate

  • 2019 - 2024
  • 2024 - 2029

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Forecasted industry share of total employment

  • 2019
  • 2024
  • 2029

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Additional resources