British Columbia

Latest numbers for B.C. in April 2018

5.0 %

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 Goods
Business, Building and Other Support Services Services
Construction Goods
Educational Services Services
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing Services
Fishing, Hunting and Trapping * Goods
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 Services Services
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services Services
Public Administration Services
Transportation and Warehousing Services
Utilities Goods
Wholesale and Retail Trade Services

Note:*Data for this industry is from the combined dataset for Forestry, Fishing, Mining, Quarrying, Oil and Gas; therefore, the data for this industry was suppressed from reporting.

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

  • 2016
  • 2020
  • 2025

Forecasted 10-year total employment growth:   293,900
Forecasted average annual employment growth rate:   1.2%

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Top 10 industries Job openings Employment
Top 10 industries
Health Care and Social Assistance 149,500 2.0%
Wholesale and Retail Trade 141,500 1.5%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 95,200 2.1%
Accommodation and Food Services 94,300 1.2%
Construction 73,000 0.5%
Educational Services 70,700 0.8%
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing 57,400 1.2%
Manufacturing 55,400 0.0%
Transportation and Warehousing 51,400 0.9%
Public Administration 42,100 1.1%