British Columbia

Latest numbers for B.C. in August 2019

4.7 %

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, McBride
Region Kootenay Key cities Nelson, Castlegar, Slocan, Creston, Fernie, Cranbrook, Kimberly, Trail, Rossland
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, Oliver, Osoyoos, Kelowna, Vernon, Golden, Revelstoke
Region Vancouver Island / Coast Key cities Victoria, Nanaimo, 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: 2017 Labour Force Survey

Unemployment rate

10-year unemployment rate in British Columbia (2007-2017)

4.3 %
7.7 %
Unemployment rate (2017):
5.1 %
10-year average:
6.2 %

Source: 2017 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

Source: 2017 Labour Force Survey

Goods and Services sectors

Share of employment in Goods and Service sectors (2017)

  Goods         Services

Source: 2017 Labour Force Survey

Employment outlook

  • 2018
  • 2023
  • 2028

Forecasted 10-year total employment growth:   903,000
Forecasted average annual employment growth rate:   1.1%

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Top 10 occupations

Job openings Employment
Top 10 occupations
Retail salespersons (NOC 6421)
Job openings
Employment growth
Retail and wholesale trade managers (NOC 0621)
Job openings
Employment growth
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 3012)
Job openings
Employment growth
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413)
Job openings
Employment growth
Administrative officers (NOC 1221)
Job openings
Employment growth
Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations (NOC 6711)
Job openings
Employment growth
Transport truck drivers (NOC 7511)
Job openings
Employment growth
General office support workers (NOC 1411)
Job openings
Employment growth
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents (NOC 6733)
Job openings
Employment growth
Light duty cleaners (NOC 6731)
Job openings
Employment growth

View all high demand occupations
Top 10 industries Job openings Employment
Top 10 industries
Health Care and Social Assistance 161,200 2.0%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 119,900 2.2%
Retail Trade 92,500 0.7%
Accommodation and Food Services 66,100 1.5%
Transportation and Warehousing 64,700 1.3%
Information, Culture and Recreation 63,200 1.8%
Construction 63,000 -0.2%
Finance, Insurance and Real Estate 60,100 1.1%
Educational Services 57,500 0.6%
Manufacturing 56,700 0.2%