Mainland / Southwest

Latest numbers for this region in April 2022

2,727,000
1,740,700
5.1 %
4.5 %
4.5 %
5.4 %
1,740,700

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

Regional overview

The Mainland / Southwest economic region is located in the southwest corner of the B.C. mainland. It includes the Greater Vancouver area, the Fraser Valley and the Sunshine Coast, and stretches north to include Whistler, Pemberton and Lillooet.

Regional district Key cities
Regional district Fraser Valley Key cities Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission
Regional district Metro Vancouver Key cities Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Richmond, Delta, Langley, North Vancouver
Regional district Squamish-Lillooet Key cities Squamish, Whistler
Regional district Sunshine Coast Key cities Gibsons, Sechelt

Age distribution

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

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Unemployment rate

10-year unemployment rate in Mainland / Southwest compared to B.C. rate (2010-2020)

  British Columbia
  Low:
4.7 %
  High:
8.9 %
Unemployment rate (2020):
8.9 %
10-year average:
6.4 %
  Mainland / Southwest
  Low:
4.4 %
  High:
9.0 %
Unemployment rate (2020):
9.0 %
10-year average:
6.3 %

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

This region'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: 2020 Labour Force Survey

Goods and Services sectors

Share of employment in Goods and Service sectors (2020)

  Goods         Services

Source: 2020 Labour Force Survey

The Mainland/Southwest region accounts for the largest percent of provincial employment.

Service sector

Vancouver is the financial and business capital of B.C. and is the location of head offices for many businesses that operate in the province, including financial institutions. This explains why this region accounts for much of the provincial employment.

Goods sector

Mainland/Southwest is home to the most Goods-producing industry jobs (agriculture, forestry, mining, oil and gas, fishing, hunting and trapping, utilities, construction and manufacturing).

Given its urban nature, the region has few resource-based operations and therefore only accounts for around a quarter of total forestry, mining, oil and gas, and fishing, hunting and trapping jobs. However, the region has a concentration of Construction employment due to the region’s busy housing market, as well as work on office buildings and major projects.

Employment outlook

  • 2021
  • 2026
  • 2031

Forecasted 10-year total employment growth:   653,200
Forecasted average annual employment growth rate:   1.4%

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Top Ten occupations

Job openings Employment
growth
Top Ten occupations
Retail salespersons (NOC 6421)
Job openings
15,480
Employment growth
1.3%
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 3012)
Job openings
12,620
Employment growth
1.3%
Retail and wholesale trade managers (NOC 0621)
Job openings
12,230
Employment growth
1.4%
Administrative officers (NOC 1221)
Job openings
11,230
Employment growth
1.3%
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413)
Job openings
10,580
Employment growth
2.0%
Computer programmers and interactive media developers (NOC 2174)
Job openings
10,130
Employment growth
3.5%
Information systems analysts and consultants (NOC 2171)
Job openings
9,970
Employment growth
3.0%
General office support workers (NOC 1411)
Job openings
9,370
Employment growth
1.2%
Sales and account representatives - wholesale trade (non-technical) (NOC 6411)
Job openings
9,270
Employment growth
1.1%
Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations (NOC 6711)
Job openings
9,180
Employment growth
1.6%

View all high opportunity occupations
Top Ten industries Job openings Employment
growth
Top Ten industries
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 107,100 2.6%
Health Care and Social Assistance 85,300 1.5%
Retail Trade 65,600 1.3%
Construction 50,800 0.7%
Transportation and Warehousing 40,800 1.6%
Finance, Insurance and Real Estate 40,700 0.8%
Accommodation and Food Services 40,200 1.6%
Information, Culture and Recreation 39,100 1.9%
Educational Services 38,500 0.9%
Manufacturing 34,000 0.4%