Vancouver Island / Coast

Latest numbers for this region in December 2022

2.7 %
3.4 %

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

Regional overview

The Vancouver Island / Coast economic region is located on the west coast of B.C. and includes all of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and some of the coastal regions of the Mainland, from the Powell River area up to the Central Coast. It includes Nanaimo and the provincial capital, Victoria.

Regional district Key cities
Regional district Alberni-Clayoquot Key cities Tofino, Ucluelet, Port Alberni
Regional district Capital Key cities Saanich, Victoria
Regional district Central Coast Key cities
Regional district Comox Valley Key cities Courtenay, Comox
Regional district Cowichan Valley Key cities North Cowichan, Ladysmith, Duncan
Regional district Mount Waddington Key cities Port Hardy, Port McNeil
Regional district Nanaimo Key cities Nanaimo, Parksville
Regional district Powell River Key cities Powell River
Regional district Strathcona Key cities Campbell River

Age distribution

  • Age
  •    % by age for Vancouver Island / Coast
  •    % 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 Vancouver Island / Coast compared to B.C. rate (2010-2020)

  British Columbia
4.7 %
8.9 %
Unemployment rate (2020):
8.9 %
10-year average:
6.4 %
  Vancouver Island / Coast
4.1 %
8.7 %
Unemployment rate (2020):
8.7 %
10-year average:
6.1 %

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

N/A - Data not available

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 Vancouver Island/Coast region accounts for the second largest percentage of provincial employment.

Service sector

Vancouver Island/Coast is a mixture of urban and rural areas, and its economy reflects this diversity. As Victoria is the capital city, there is a large government presence.

Goods sector

Vancouver Island / Coast accounts for a large proportion of provincial employment in the Goods producing sector (agriculture, forestry, mining, oil and gas, fishing, hunting and trapping, utilities, construction and manufacturing).

In the more rural areas of Vancouver Island / Coast, there are significant resource-based activities.

Employment outlook

  • 2021
  • 2026
  • 2031

Forecasted 10-year total employment growth:   161,500
Forecasted average annual employment growth rate:   1.1%

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Top Ten occupations

Job openings Employment
Top Ten occupations
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 3012)
Job openings
Employment growth
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413)
Job openings
Employment growth
Administrative officers (NOC 1221)
Job openings
Employment growth
Retail salespersons (NOC 6421)
Job openings
Employment growth
Retail and wholesale trade managers (NOC 0621)
Job openings
Employment growth
Social and community service workers (NOC 4212)
Job openings
Employment growth
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents (NOC 6733)
Job openings
Employment growth
Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations (NOC 6711)
Job openings
Employment growth
Light duty cleaners (NOC 6731)
Job openings
Employment growth
Retail sales supervisors (NOC 6211)
Job openings
Employment growth

View all high opportunity occupations
Top Ten industries Job openings Employment
Top Ten industries
Health Care and Social Assistance 28,800 1.5%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 18,800 2.6%
Retail Trade 15,800 1.3%
Public Administration 13,500 0.5%
Educational Services 12,000 0.9%
Accommodation and Food Services 10,600 1.6%
Construction 9,900 0.7%
Business, Building and Other Support Services 9,500 1.7%
Repair, Personal and Non-Profit Services 8,200 1.8%
Finance, Insurance and Real Estate 7,800 0.8%