Latest numbers for this region in April 2018

7.1 %
4.8 %

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

Regional overview

The Thompson-Okanagan economic region is located in the interior of the province. It stretches from Princeton in the west to Golden and the Alberta border in the east, to Osoyoos and the Washington state border in the south. Kelowna and Kamloops are the largest cities in the region.

Regional district Key cities
Regional district Central Okanagan Key cities Kelowna
Regional district Columbia-Shuswap Key cities Golden, Revelstoke
Regional district North Okanagan Key cities Vernon
Regional district Okanagan-Similkameen Key cities Oliver, Osoyoos
Regional district Thompson-Nicola Key cities Merritt, Ashcroft, Kamloops

Age distribution

  • Age
  •    % by age for Thompson-Okanagan
  •    % 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 Thompson-Okanagan compared to B.C. rate (2005-2015)

  British Columbia
4.3 %
7.7 %
Unemployment rate (2015):
6.2 %
10-year average:
6.2 %
4.4 %
8.8 %
Unemployment rate (2015):
6.4 %
10-year average:
6.6 %

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 Thompson-Okanagan region accounts for the third largest percent of provincial employment.

Service sector

With its hot, dry summers, Thompson-Okanagan is popular as both a vacation destination and a place for retirees to live. These factors play a role in the region’s relatively large share of provincial employment in some Service sector industries.

Goods sector

Thompson-Okanagan has some of the best agricultural land in the province and is a prime location for vineyards and orchards. There are also some cattle ranches in the region. In 2015, Thompson-Okanagan accounted for over twelve percent (12.3%) of provincial employment in the Goods-producing sector (agriculture, forestry, mining, oil and gas, fishing, hunting and trapping, utilities, construction and manufacturing). With its hot, dry summers, this region, in particular, accounted for nearly twenty-four percent of total agriculture jobs in B.C.

Employment outlook

  • 2016
  • 2020
  • 2025

Forecasted 10-year total employment growth:   34,600
Forecasted average annual employment growth rate:   1.3%

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Top 10 industries Job openings Employment
Top 10 industries
Health Care and Social Assistance 17,100 2.0%
Wholesale and Retail Trade 16,100 1.3%
Accommodation and Food Services 13,500 1.5%
Construction 12,400 2.2%
Educational Services 7,400 1.5%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 6,800 1.5%
Manufacturing 6,700 -0.3%
Transportation and Warehousing 5,800 1.1%
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Leasing 4,600 1.0%
Public Administration 4,100 1.3%