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Outlook is bright for BC labour market over the next 10 years

construction workers and supervisor walking and looking at tablet

The Government of British Columbia’s most recent labour market outlook is out, and the future looks promising.

The labour market outlook provides a 10-year forecast supply and demand for labour in the province from 2021 to 2031.

The report calculates job openings across 61 industries, 500 occupations and seven regions, providing British Columbians with the knowledge required to make informed decisions on careers, hiring, training and education.

The comprehensive analysis considers several factors, including industry, occupation, education and geographic region, as well as the demand for skills and competencies that job seekers need to succeed in the next 10 years.

Results and findings from the forecast are gathered using the most reliable, relevant and up-to-date data from several sources, including BC Stats, BC Ministry of Finance and Statistics Canada.

This most recent forecast looks specifically at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recovery BC saw in 2021.

According to the report, there will be 1,004,000 new job openings in BC from now until 2031. Of these approximately 635,000 will be from employers needing to replace retiring workers as the population and labour force continue to age.

The other 369,000 new job openings will be from expansion, either created through recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic or new economic growth.

By 2031, BC’s total employment will add up to three million jobs, up from 2.6 million in 2022.

Employment will also continue to grow by 1.5% a year during the first five years of the forecast and 1.1% during the last five years.

Approximately 2% of the employment growth will come from a decline in the number of people who are unemployed as the economy continues to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

The report also reveals that nearly 80% of job openings will require post-secondary credentials or training. And the technology and health care sectors will be key growth industries over the next 10 years.

Due to a relatively tight labour market and supply gap, many BC employers may face labour shortages. However, the report acknowledges that the province’s labour market is efficient and flexible as additional supply will come from more people joining or returning to the labour force.

Published on March 11, 2022.