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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.?
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.
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.
Will the Kids Be Alright? The Arithmetic of Productivity Trends in Canada and B.C.
How can Canada and British Columbia improve productivity?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
The Rise of China's Top-10%
A by-product of China’s rapid economic rise is that income and wealth have become increasingly concentrated among the top-10% of the population.
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Alarms ringing over B.C.’s lacklustre productivity performance (Business in Vancouver)
Productivity is the most critical determinant of any economy’s long-term growth potential. It represents the value of goods and services produced, divided by the number of hours needed to produce them.
Productivity increases when businesses invest in new machinery, equipment, technologies and structures, and when workers become better educated and acquire in-demand technical skills. Productivity gains are also realized when additional output is created by doing a better job of combining inputs through the application of fresh ideas, advanced technologies and improved business models. In more productive economies, employees typically receive higher compensation, and governments can obtain the resources needed to provide good public services without having to resort to ruinous levels of taxation.
The Slowing Pace of 'Creative Destruction' in Canada
Creative destruction involves economic renewal or “churn,” whereby innovative new firms and entrepreneurs force outdated firms to exit. Labour and capital are freed and reallocated to better use, in doing so raising productivity and living standards. Canadian data is concerning because it suggests a significant, long-term decline in the rate of economic renewal.
RELEASE: Sue Paish, Q.C. incoming Chair of BCBC
Recognized British Columbia business leader in health, technology and law, Sue Paish Q.C., was elected for a two-year term as Chair of the Business Council of British Columbia on May 1 at the organization’s 52nd Annual General Meeting.