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

GOWN UP to raise $10m for Surrey Memorial Hospital upgrades

The money will be used to upgrade 10 operating rooms, buy cutting-edge equipment and recruit more top-notch surgeons

UPDATED: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in US after ‘accidentally’ crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

Shoppers line up for Winners opening at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Popular retail store is second in South Surrey

Canucks’ Diwali Night game gives Surrey’s Heer the thrill of DJ-ing for his favourite team

‘It should be a good game with (Alexander) Ovechkin in town’ on Oct. 25, says Jovan Heer

UPDATE: RCMP shoot and kill ‘aggressive’ dog in South Surrey

Member of the public not seriously injured after dog bite

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

$100,000 reward for B.C. gangster extended to United States

Police belive fugitive Conor D’Monte may be in the Los Angeles area

Emily Carr University closed Sunday after fire causes some damage

The school is working with Vancouver police to assist their investigation into the fire

Most Read

l -->