CPABC in Focus July/August 2016 - Page 18

new jobs. The health care & social assistance industry accounted for the majority of these gains, with 17,600 new jobs, and the transportation & warehousing industry also saw a significant increase, with 6,200 new jobs. These gains were offset, however, by a combined loss of 26,200 jobs in the following industries: trade; accommodation & food services; finance, insurance, real estate, & leasing; educational services; and public administration. It’s notable that BC’s professional, scientific & technical services industry grew by 25,000 jobs between 2010 and 2015, as this was the largest five-year gain experienced by any industry in either sector. Most of the increases in this industry occurred in Southwest BC, reflecting the region’s ongoing emergence in the high-tech market.5 Unemployment After six years of annual decline, BC’s overall unemployment rate rose from 6.1% in 2014 to 6.2% in 2015 (see Table 2). Northwest BC was the only development region to see a decrease in unemployment, dropping from 8.0% in 2014 to 7.0% in 2015. All other regions saw this indicator either increase or remain unchanged from the previous year. Southwest BC, for example, saw no change in its unemployment rate, which remained at 6.0%, while the Thompson-Okanagan and Vancouver Island/Coast experienced minimal increases, and the Cariboo and Northeast saw unemployment grow by 1.0 percentage points (ppt) (up to 7.0% and 5.9%, respectively). At 7.4%, the Kootenay Development Region had the highest unemployment rate in the province in 2015—an increase of 0.5 ppt from 2014. Table 2: Unemployment Rate* in All Development Regions, 2010-2015 Percentage point change Region 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 5-Year 1-Year 2010-15 2014-15 Cariboo Kootenay Mainland/Southwest Northeast Northwest BC Thompson-Okanagan Vancouver Island/Coast British Columbia 8.4 7.5 7.0 5.9 6.0 7.0 -1.4 1.0 9.4 8.0 7.0 5.9 6.9 7.4 -2.0 0.5 7.5 7.4 6.9 6.7 6.0 6.0 -1.5 0.0 6.8 5.1 4.1 4.8 4.9 5.9 -0.9 1.0 9.6 8.6 11.0 6.9 8.0 7.0 -2.6 -1.0 8.8 7.8 7.1 7.0 6.3 6.4 -2.4 0.1 6.3 7.8 6.2 6.3 6.1 6.3 0.0 0.2 7.6 7.5 6.8 6.6 6.1 6.2 -1.4 0.1 Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, Custom Table. *Unemployment rates were calculated by author. Investing in regional BC Business and investment activity BC’s inventory of major capital projects grew between the fourth quarters of 2014 and 2015, increasing from $396 billion to $453 billion.6 The magnitude of this gain was due to the addition of several new LNG, mining development, and transportation proposals in northern BC. As of the fourth quarter of 2015, BC had a total of 918 major projects,7 with 445 at the proposal stage, 352 under construction, 91 on hold, and 30 completed.8 More than half of these projects (53%) were residential/commercial. Although roughly half of the province’s major projects in 2015 were located in Southwest BC, they accounted for only 16% of the total value of BC’s major projects. By comparison, the projects in Northwest BC and the Northeast, which made up 16% of the province’s major projects in 2015, accounted for more than 60% of the total value.9 As noted in the previous paragraph, however, many of the projects in northern BC are still in the proposal phase, and their approval remains uncertain. All employment data is from Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey. 5 BC Ministry of Finance, BC Major Projects Inventory, December 2015. Note that all regional reports are based on the Ministry’s September 2015 6 report, due to the availability of data at the time of this writing in early 2016. BC Stats defines “major projects” as those in the mining, oil and gas; manufacturing; transportation; utilities; hotel; and residential construction 7 industries that have a capital value of $20 million or higher in the Lower Mainland/Vancouver area, and a capital value of $15 million or higher in all other regions of the province. BC Ministry of Finance, BC Major Projects Inventory, December 2015. 8 Ibid. 9 18 CPABC in Focus • July/August 2016