Latest numbers for this region in August 2019

4.6 %
4.4 %

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: 2017 Labour Force Survey

Unemployment rate

10-year unemployment rate in Thompson-Okanagan compared to B.C. rate (2007-2017)

  British Columbia
4.3 %
7.7 %
Unemployment rate (2017):
5.1 %
10-year average:
6.2 %
4.4 %
8.8 %
Unemployment rate (2017):
7.1 %
10-year average:
7.0 %

Source: 2017 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: 2017 Labour Force Survey

Goods and Services sectors

Share of employment in Goods and Service sectors (2017)

  Goods         Services

Source: 2017 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

  • 2018
  • 2023
  • 2028

Forecasted 10-year total employment growth:   91,200
Forecasted average annual employment growth rate:   0.7%

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Top 10 occupations

Job openings Employment
Top 10 occupations
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413)
Job openings
Employment growth
Retail salespersons (NOC 6421)
Job openings
Employment growth
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 3012)
Job openings
Employment growth
Retail and wholesale trade managers (NOC 0621)
Job openings
Employment growth
Administrative officers (NOC 1221)
Job openings
Employment growth
Transport truck drivers (NOC 7511)
Job openings
Employment growth
Light duty cleaners (NOC 6731)
Job openings
Employment growth
Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations (NOC 6711)
Job openings
Employment growth
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents (NOC 6733)
Job openings
Employment growth
Accounting technicians and bookkeepers (NOC 1311)
Job openings
Employment growth

View all high demand occupations
Top 10 industries Job openings Employment
Top 10 industries
Health Care and Social Assistance 20,000 1.9%
Retail Trade 11,300 0.5%
Accommodation and Food Services 11,100 1.4%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 8,900 1.6%
Finance, Insurance and Real Estate 6,300 1.2%
Educational Services 6,200 0.6%
Manufacturing 6,200 0.2%
Repair, Personal and Non-Profit Services 5,800 1.4%
Information, Culture and Recreation 4,900 1.3%
Transportation and Warehousing 4,900 1.0%