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Economy

As trusted economists and policy advisors to business and government leaders, the Council relies on sound, evidence-based analysis to inform its policy recommendations. Through diligent tracking of BC’s economic performance, we help identify the opportunities and challenges the province must navigate in order to reach its full potential.

 

B.C. Employment Growth by Occupation -- The Long View

How has the labour market in British Columbia changed over the past thirty years? How has technology reshaped it? What occupations have shown the most and the least employment growth?

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Finlayson Op-Ed: Toward higher costs and less competition in public-sector procurement (Vancouver Sun)

The provincial government is establishing a new framework for developing public-sector infrastructure projects.  Last week, Premier John Horgan and Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena released an umbrella “Community Benefits Agreement” (CBA), intended to achieve several objectives:

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Mullen & St-Laurent Op-Ed: Why the workforce gender gap matters to business (Troy Media, Times Colonist & The Hamilton Spectator)

In British Columbia and Canada more broadly, the proportion of females aged 15 and over who participate in the labour force remains nine percentage points below that of males. And it has stayed this way since the early 1990s.

Why does this matter?

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How will Digitalization Affect the Labour Market?

The challenge facing policy-makers – in British Columbia, Canada and globally – is how to maximise the productivity gains of technological progress through digitalization, while taking steps to mitigate its intrinsically-skewed distribution of benefits.

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Toward Higher Costs and Less Competition in Public Sector Procurement

The provincial government is establishing a new framework for developing and sourcing labour to build public-sector infrastructure projects. We see at least two big problems with the government's plan.

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FInlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: B.C. job creation stalls, but province’s job vacancy rate still high (Business in Vancouver)

After several years of torrid job growth and a steadily falling unemployment rate, B.C.’s labour market looks to have cooled off.

In particular, job creation has come to a shuddering halt so far in 2018. In Statistics Canada’s June Labour Force Survey, for example, employment was down 0.3% from the month before. In fact, monthly job gains have been so lacklustre that the overall level of employment in the province is slightly below where it stood a year ago. Even Metro Vancouver – once Canada’s hottest job market – has experienced a dip in year-over-year employment. Moreover, the provincial unemployment rate has ticked higher, compared with both one month and one year ago.

Yet, oddly, there are also signs that the demand for workers remains robust.

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Where Does the Money Come From? The B.C. Government’s Top Revenue Sources

Where exactly does the province get the vast sums required to pay for the services and programs it provides or supports?

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Finlayson & St-Laurent Op-Ed: Young, educated Indigenous talent is ready (Troy Media)

B.C.’s Indigenous population is relatively young, with an average age of 33 compared to 42 for the non-Indigenous population. Even better, a growing proportion of Indigenous have some form of post-secondary education: a degree, a college credential or a trades certificate.

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Is It The Best of Times or The Worst of Times?

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Finlayson & St-Laurent Op-Ed: International visitors drive B.C. tourism growth (Troy Media)

It turns out that 2017 marked a 14-year high for annual international tourism to B.C. Some 7.9 million international travellers entered the province last year, an increase of 3.5 per cent over 2016. And the data for the first quarter of 2018 look even better, setting the stage for another record-breaking year for the industry.

Who visits B.C.?

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Finlayson & St-Laurent: Jobs in Demand: B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook to 2027 (PeopleTalk)

If you’re on the lookout for the hottest job trends, WorkBC – an agency of the provincial government -- recently released an updated Labour Market Outlook through to 2027. Over the next decade, the government anticipates 917,000 job openings. Roughly 70 per cent will result from current workers transitioning into retirement. Many of these positions can be filled by younger cohorts of workers, but that won’t be enough to staff all of the vacancies expected to emerge. The other 30 per cent of job openings will arise due to ongoing economic and industrial growth. To fill these positions, the supply of workers will have to be expanded, through immigration, attracting people from other provinces, and tapping into underutilized labour pools.

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RELEASE: Professional Reliance Review Report Provides Solutions Looking for a Problem

The Business Council of British Columbia has significant concerns with the recently released Professional Reliance Review Report which has offered a series of recommendations related to the province’s professional reliance model.

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Will the Kids Be Alright? The Arithmetic of Productivity Trends in Canada and B.C.

How can Canada and British Columbia improve productivity?

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Cruising Along: International Tourism on the Rise in B.C.

Last year was a memorable one for international tourism in the province, and the first quarter of 2018 is looking even better. There were 7.9 million international traveller entries to B.C. in 2017, an increase of 3.5% over 2016. Since 2010, the number of international visitors is up 25%. Tourism is a vital economic engine for the province, with the main tourism-related industries accounting for 12% of all jobs.

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Housing costs put brakes on migration to B.C. from other provinces (Business in Vancouver & Western Investor)

Over the second half of last year, a surprising development occurred – the net inflow of people moving to B.C. from other provinces fell sharply. The drop showed up in the third quarter and persisted through the final months of 2017. Looking ahead, we suspect that B.C. may receive fewer interprovincial migrants than pundits and policy-makers have been counting on – particularly working-age migrants, as opposed to retirees. If our hunch is correct, employers in B.C. are likely to face more widespread hiring challenges in the years ahead.

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Women and Work: An analysis of the changing B.C. labour market

An analysis of the progress made advancing women in the workforce and areas where there is more to do to enable the full participation of women, particularly in light of shifting demographics and labour markets.

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Long-Term Downward Trend in Unionization Rates

The unionization rate – sometimes called “union density” – is the share of employees in the workforce who belong to a union. Statistics Canada tracks and reports on “union coverage,” which is a similar concept but also includes workers who are not union members but are covered by a collective agreement.

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BC's Net Inflow of Interprovincial Migrants Slows Sharply

Halfway through last year, the net inflow of people moving to BC from other provinces dropped sharply, and the slowing persisted over the rest of 2017. The shift is surprising because it breaks with past migration patterns that usually reflect differing labour market conditions across the country.

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Release: BCBC Statement Following May 24 Court Decision on TMX

Greg D'Avignon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of British Columbia issued the following statement following today's BC Supreme Court rulings related to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project:
"Certainty of process is fundamental in any democracy. The Business Council continues to urge the federal and provincial governments to adhere to and support all regulatory processes they have established."

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The Changing Face of Asset Ownership in China

China’s economic development continues to have profound implications for the world economy and, as Canada’s gateway to Asia, for British Columbia.

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