British Columbia

Latest numbers for B.C. in September 2018

4.2 %

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: 2015 Labour Force Survey

Unemployment rate

10-year unemployment rate in British Columbia (2005-2015)

4.3 %
7.7 %
Unemployment rate (2015):
6.2 %
10-year average:
6.2 %

Source: 2015 Labour Force Survey

B.C.'s industries and sectors

Industry Sector
Accommodation and Food Services Services
Agriculture and Fishing1 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
Other Private Services Services
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services Services
Public Administration Services
Retail Trade2 Services
Transportation and Warehousing Services
Utilities Goods
Wholesale Trade2 Services

Note:*Data for this industry is from the combined dataset for Forestry, Mining, Quarrying, Oil and Gas; therefore, the data for this industry was suppressed from reporting.
1Data represents Agriculture industry only and will be updated when the 2017 data is available from Statistics Canada.
2Data represents Wholesale and Retail Trade and will be updated when the 2017 data is available from Statistics Canada.

Source: 2015 Labour Force Survey

Goods and Services sectors

Share of employment in Goods and Service sectors (2015)

  Goods         Services

Source: 2015 Labour Force Survey

Employment outlook

  • 2017
  • 2022
  • 2027

Forecasted 10-year total employment growth:   277,500
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
Administrative officers (NOC 1221)
Job openings
Employment growth
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413)
Job openings
Employment growth
Transport truck drivers (NOC 7511)
Job openings
Employment growth
Administrative assistants (NOC 1241)
Job openings
Employment growth
Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations (NOC 6711)
Job openings
Employment growth
Cooks (NOC 6322)
Job openings
Employment growth
General office support workers (NOC 1411)
Job openings
Employment growth

View all top occupations
Top 10 industries Job openings Employment
Top 10 industries
Health Care and Social Assistance 142,480 1.8%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 102,440 2.0%
Retail Trade 86,890 0.8%
Accommodation and Food Services 62,740 1.5%
Transportation and Warehousing 62,400 1.4%
Educational Services 59,380 0.7%
Construction 59,080 0.2%
Information, Culture and Recreation 56,730 1.8%
Finance, Insurance and Real Estate 55,080 1.0%
Manufacturing 54,950 0.2%