British Columbia

Latest numbers for B.C. in September 2020

4,180,300
2,421,500
10.1 %
2,421,500

Source: Monthly Labour Force Survey, 3-month moving average, seasonally unadjusted

Provincial overview

British Columbia is Canada’s westernmost province. It is bordered by Yukon to the north, Alberta to the east, the United States to the south and the Pacific Ocean and the Alaska Panhandle to the west. The province includes Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii, as well as numerous other smaller islands.

There are seven economic regions within the province, as shown in the table below:

Economic development regions

Region Key cities
Region Cariboo Key cities Williams Lake, Quesnel, 100 Mile House, Prince George, Mackenzie
Region Kootenay Key cities Nelson, Castlegar, Creston, Cranbrook, Kimberly, Fernie, Trail, Grand Forks
Region Mainland / Southwest Key cities Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Richmond, Delta, Langley, North Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, Gibsons, Sechelt, Chilliwack, Mission
Region North Coast & Nechako Key cities Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace, Burns Lake, Vanderhoof, Smithers, Masset
Region Northeast Key cities Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Tumbler Ridge, Chetwynd, Fort Nelson
Region Thompson-Okanagan Key cities Merritt, Ashcroft, Kamloops, Penticton, Summerland, Kelowna, Vernon, Coldstream, Golden, Revelstoke
Region Vancouver Island / Coast Key cities Victoria, Nanaimo, Parksville, Campbell River, Courtenay, Comox, Duncan, Powell River, Tofino, Ucluelet

Age distribution

  • Age
  •    % by age for
  •    % by age for B.C.
  • 0 - 14
  • 15 - 24
  • 25 - 54
  • 55 - 64
  • 65 - 90+

Source: 2018 Labour Force Survey

Unemployment rate

10-year unemployment rate in British Columbia (2008-2018)

  Low:
4.6 %
  High:
7.7 %
Unemployment rate (2018):
4.7 %
10-year average:
6.3 %

Source: 2018 Labour Force Survey

B.C.'s industries and sectors

Industry Sector
Accommodation and Food Services Services
Agriculture and Fishing Goods
Business, Building and Other Support Services Services
Construction Goods
Educational Services Services
Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Services
Forestry and Logging with Support Activities Goods
Health Care and Social Assistance Services
Information, Culture and Recreation Services
Manufacturing Goods
Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction Goods
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services Services
Public Administration Services
Repair, Personal and Non-Profit Services Services
Retail Trade Services
Transportation and Warehousing Services
Utilities Goods
Wholesale Trade Services

N/A - Data not available

Source: 2018 Labour Force Survey

Goods and Services sectors

Share of employment in Goods and Service sectors (2018)

  Goods         Services

Source: 2018 Labour Force Survey

Employment outlook

  • 2019
  • 2024
  • 2029

Forecasted 10-year total employment growth:   861,100
Forecasted average annual employment growth rate:   1.0%

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Top Ten occupations

Job openings Employment
growth
Top Ten occupations
Retail salespersons (NOC 6421)
Job openings
24,910
Employment growth
0.8%
Retail and wholesale trade managers (NOC 0621)
Job openings
19,710
Employment growth
0.8%
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 3012)
Job openings
19,590
Employment growth
1.3%
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413)
Job openings
17,890
Employment growth
2.1%
Administrative officers (NOC 1221)
Job openings
16,320
Employment growth
1.0%
Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations (NOC 6711)
Job openings
14,420
Employment growth
1.5%
Transport truck drivers (NOC 7511)
Job openings
13,340
Employment growth
0.9%
General office support workers (NOC 1411)
Job openings
13,130
Employment growth
0.9%
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents (NOC 6733)
Job openings
12,790
Employment growth
1.0%
Cooks (NOC 6322)
Job openings
12,160
Employment growth
1.5%

View all high opportunity occupations
Top Ten industries Job openings Employment
growth
Top Ten industries
Health Care and Social Assistance 148,100 1.7%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 105,900 1.9%
Retail Trade 85,000 0.8%
Accommodation and Food Services 73,600 1.5%
Educational Services 70,900 0.9%
Construction 65,700 0.2%
Information, Culture and Recreation 61,300 1.6%
Transportation and Warehousing 55,100 1.0%
Business, Building and Other Support Services 50,500 1.1%
Finance, Insurance and Real Estate 50,000 0.5%