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.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: High-flying fun at 2019 Boundary Bay Airshow

Thousands came out for the free annual event on Saturday, July 20

COLUMN: Looking at B.C.’s home support report card

Columnist ML Burke shares highlights from B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel MacKenzie’s report

Another 250 units proposed for booming block in Clayton neighbourhood

New developments join list of projects popping up near new Salish Secondary, future community centre

Two from Delta killed in two-vehicle crash near Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Police ask for help locating missing men who were last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read