Mainland / Southwest

Latest numbers for this region in April 2018

4.3 %
4.4 %
4.4 %
4.1 %

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 Chilliwack, Mission
Regional district Greater 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: 2015 Labour Force Survey

Unemployment rate

10-year unemployment rate in Mainland / Southwest compared to B.C. rate (2005-2015)

  British Columbia
4.3 %
7.7 %
Unemployment rate (2015):
6.2 %
10-year average:
6.2 %
  Mainland / Southwest
4.0 %
7.5 %
Unemployment rate (2015):
6.0 %
10-year average:
6.0 %

Source: 2015 Labour Force Survey

This region'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

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 64 percent of all provincial employment in 2015.

Goods sector

Mainland/Southwest was home to approximately 58 percent of all 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 accounted for 24.2 percent 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

  • 2016
  • 2020
  • 2025

Forecasted 10-year total employment growth:   198,300
Forecasted average annual employment growth rate:   1.3%

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Top 10 industries Job openings Employment
Top 10 industries
Wholesale and Retail Trade 93,800 1.8%
Health Care and Social Assistance 88,800 2.1%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 73,100 2.3%
Accommodation and Food Services 56,400 1.1%
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing 42,100 1.4%
Educational Services 39,800 0.6%
Construction 37,300 0.0%
Manufacturing 35,700 0.2%
Transportation and Warehousing 35,200 1.0%
Public Administration 24,800 1.1%