The Lower Mainland’s transportation sector has been one of the region’s best-performing industries in recent years. File photo

Job market to remain tight in coming years: report

Conference Board of Canada predicts region’s unemployment rate to remain below five per cent

The Black Press Extreme & Career Fair runs today from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Cloverdale Agriplex in Surrey. Follow the link for more information: Surrey Black Press Career Fair.


B.C.’s job market is the tightest in the nation and expected to remain hot for years to come, according to a major Canadian economic think tank.

The Conference Board of Canada says employment will continue to rise slowly, and the demand for workers will push wages up over the coming years.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, is expected to remain around 4.3 per cent this year – which is the lowest level since 2008. It’s expected to tick up slightly next year, but remain below five per cent for years to come, making now a good time to be looking for a new job in a range of industries and sectors.

The board’s latest report lays out which sectors can expect the greatest growth in the coming year, a factor that often drives the supply of new jobs.

Metro Vancouver’s “finance, insurance and real estate industry is anticipated to see steady gains over the next few years,” the board says. And while the construction sector is expected to see “more moderate growth” and housing starts will decline, the board expects them to remain above the 10-year average.

Professional services are expected to be the fastest-growing industry this year, and the board says the manufacturing sector is also in for a good year.

The retail trade industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, but slowed last year. Still, the coming years are expected to be good for the sector, with growth forecast for 3.4 per cent this year and 2.5 per cent beyond that.

Transportation and warehouse sector that supplies many retailers has seen similar growth, and is also expected to keep growing in the years to come.

RELATED: Highway crashes double in Fraser Valley, truck traffic also up steeply

RELATED: Zero per cent unemployment for former UFV trades students: survey

The health care industry is set for similarly solid growth, and the report notes that, “Faced with an aging population, governments will increase spending more rapidly on health care services than in other areas.”

Only the education and public administration industries are signaled out for lackluster performance in 2018. Both sectors actually shrunk, but are expected to rally next year with growth below one per cent.

A separate report for the Abbotsford-Mission area predicts even better economic fortunes for the Central Fraser Valley.

The region added nearly 3,000 jobs last year, and although the unemployment rate is slightly higher than Metro Vancouver, it is expected to remain below five per cent for the immediate future.

Continued construction is expected to keep that industry strong and growing by 3.1 per cent over the coming years.

Abbotsford’s transportation and warehousing industry, which has expanded dramatically in recent years, is expected to keep growing. The sector is expected to grow by more than five per cent in each of the next two years, “making it the region’s growth leader over the next two years,” the report says.

The region’s wholesale trade, retail trade, and real estate, finance and insurance industries are all also expected to perform well, making the coming years an ideal opportunity to be hunting for a new job.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta council approves plan to reopen city facilities

Next phase of plan includes outdoor pools, summer day camps, outdoor fitness programs

B.C. health minister agrees to meeting about Delta Hospice denying end-of-life service

Delta’s mayor, MP and MLAs asked for the meeting in co-signed letter June 1

Protect kids from online predators: Surrey RCMP

Reports of child porn increased between 2017 and 2019, police say

Charges laid in 2019 single-vehicle crash in Surrey that killed young soccer star

Dilpreet Sandhu, 19, faces eight charges in early morning crash that killed Brandon Bassi

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

VIDEO: Pitt Meadows dentist gets grand welcome home after two-month COVID-19 battle

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Importance of accurate, ethical reporting more critical than ever

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Stray dog with duct tape around muzzle spotted in Abbotsford

Pooch has been spotted over two days, but has escaped capture so far

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Most Read