The economy of British Columbia is continuing its strong recovery and low unemployment rates in spite of predictions of a global recession looming.

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for July 2022 revealed that BC added 14,900 new full-time jobs, while bearing a historically low unemployment rate of 4.7%.

Across Canada, British Columbia also held the largest number of people joining the workforce compared to other provinces and territories in the country. In fact, BC’s first quarter (Q1) update for 2022 showed net migration for the province at 23,889, the highest Q1 update in more than 60 years.

Ravi Kahlon, BC’s Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, states that “because [BC is] focused on making investments in people, [the province is] leading Canada’s economic recovery and [is] well positioned to deal with the challenges of global uncertainty and rising inflation being felt around the world.”

BC’s economic plan to combat a potential recession in Canada

With rising recession risks in North America and around the world, BC’s stable economic growth is positioning the province for a promising outlook.

The Royal Bank of Canada predicts that the Canadian economy is on track for a “mild recession” in 2023, with variables such as real estate, jobless claims and delayed economic ramifications of pandemic restrictions leading to a GDP growth of less than 1%.

While the general recession definition refers to GDP decreasing by about 3% and the unemployment rate rising by about 3% or more, BC is still on track for continued economic recovery.

British Columbia’s record low unemployment rate is contributing to a tight labour market and helping the province stay strong during threats of recession.

As part of the BC Economic Plan, the government is working hard to make sure the province is well positioned to fill the one million job openings projected over the next 10 years.

And the province is implementing several measures to support its continued growth, including investments to make education and training more accessible, affordable and innovative, to help businesses grow and prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.

Fast-growing industries in BC providing workers with jobs

Notably, BC is home to a number of booming industries, among which are the high-tech, life sciences, manufacturing and tourism industries.

The province’s quickly growing high-tech sector employed more than 130,000 British Columbians in 2019, earning $12 billion in income – the highest ever recorded.

BC is also home to the fastest-growing life sciences sector in Canada, with more than 2,000 companies employing approximately 17,000 workers.

An estimated 11,000 small and medium-sized manufacturing companies contribute almost $16 billion to BC’s GPD and employ more than 167,000 British Columbians.

And the tourism industry creates more than 160,000 BC jobs and adds billions of dollars to the GDP of Canada.

“Our StrongerBC Economic Plan is designed to meet the challenges of our time by achieving two big goals – clean and inclusive growth – to create a more prosperous BC today and for generations to come. That’s why, despite the uncertain times we are living in, I remain incredibly optimistic about the future we are building right here in BC,” Kahlon said.

Published August 26, 2022.