British Columbia’s employment rate currently sits at a national low, beating out every other province. Right now our province is at five percent, which was an increase from April’s mark of 4.7 percent. What does this mean? Well it means a lot of things, but probably the most important is that many economists believe the number one sign of a healthy economy is its jobless rate.
The province had a net gain of 2,900 jobs during April, which included more than 18,000 new full-time jobs, and the part-time job numbers went down, leading many to believe that a lot of British Columbians have turned part-time work into full-time gigs. This is another great indicator because it means companies feel confident in adding to their full-time payrolls, and are looking to expand and increase business.
The other great sign was according to the provincial government, these jobs were added across a wide and diversified set of industries. A lot of the jobs that were added in May included positions in resources, which are rebounding, tech, tourism and agriculture.
B.C. has also made a name for itself lately expanding its broad range of trading partners. And while the United States is still B.C.’s dominant trading partner, accounting for just over half of all our trade, this is a much smaller comparison to a province like Alberta, who rely on the U.S. for 80 percent of its trade.
Vancouver is also doing really well. Numbers from Statistics Canada show that B.C. cities have some of the lowest unemployment rates compared to the rest of the country. Vancouver sits at 4.1, which is good for the third-lowest rate amongst all urban centres across Canada.
Diversification is key in today’s economy, and Vancouver’s expansion into the tech world shows that we are no longer the one-horse show we used to be. Our economy is thriving in multiple sectors, meaning a downturn in one industry could easily be offset by others. Not that you need another reason to live, work, buy/sell and play in Vancouver, but if you want hard numbers to back up, they’re not hard to come by these days.