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

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop, closes section of Fraser Highway

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

Surrey RCMP search for missing 17-year-old girl

Mikayla Logan was last seen in Guildford on Tuesday, May 14

North Delta med student helps plant the seed of hope

​Jas Hans shared his mother’s story with a patient at to help the new mom cope with her fears

GALLERY: Cloverdale Rodeo Parade brings thousands through the town centre

From ponies to hot rods, the 73rd annual parade had it all

Surrey to begin ‘public engagement process’ on policing transition next week

First in a series of public events set for May 23 at Cloverdale rec centre

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Multi-vehicle collision on highway in Chilliwack

Accident involves several vehicles, in the westbound lanes says Drive BC

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Most Read