Ready for an absolute doozy of a summary? We hope so, because we’re about to give it to you! WorkBC has released its newest version of the BC Labour Market Outlook, and alongside a ton of other insight, is claiming that the province will see over 1 million job openings by 2031. How did they get to that number? And, what does it actually mean? Good question, and partner, you’ve come to the right place for answers.
The BC Labour Market Outlook report is extensive, to say the least. Topics range from regional growth, to which jobs and sectors are poised to have the highest increase, to even considerations about education needs and skills for the province and the impacts of climate change. In order to create the report, WorkBC used the latest available data from both provincial and national sources, including the BC Ministry of Finance and Stats Canada.
First up- how’d they get to 1 million job openings between 2021 and 2031?
Well, according to the data, some 635,000 jobs are going to be in the ‘replacement’ pile, aka filling the gaps left by people leaving the workforce permanently. On the other hand, roughly 369,000 opportunities are related to ‘expansion’, caused primarily by recovery from COVID-19 or new economic growth. As for who will be getting the jobs, the vast majority (82%) is projected to be filled either by people starting work (48%) or immigrants moving to the province (34%).
Now, it’s time to take a look at what these jobs could be. According to the report, a mere 5 industries will account for about half of the total openings leading up to 2031. These are:
- HEALTH CARE AND SOCIAL ASSISTANCE
(142,900 job openings; 14% of total)
- PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SERVICES
(140,700 job openings; 14% of total)
- RETAIL TRADE
(103,700 job openings; 10% of total)
(75,900 job openings; 8% of total)
- ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD SERVICES
(65,000 job openings; 7% of total)
Another thing to note about these openings is that WorkBC expects a whopping 77% of the total openings will require some form of post-secondary education, with Bachelor’s, Graduate or First Professional Degree (36%) and Diploma/Certificate Excluding Apprenticeship (29%) leading the way there. In a nutshell, if you’ve done something after high school, your options are going to be much more numerous than someone who hasn’t.
And to round things out, we thought we’d take a look at where these job openings will happen.
Naturally, the Mainland/Southwest region (which includes the Lower Mainland) is far and away the most concentrated area, accounting for over half (653,200) of the job openings. However, there are still going to be ample opportunities on Vancouver Island (161,500) and in Thompson-Okanagan (115,600), just in case you feel like you need a change from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life.
There you have it, folks! That’s the Sparks Notes version of the latest BC Labour Market Outlook. Of course, we suggest checking out the full report if you’d like to learn more, and especially if you’re thinking that a career swap could be in your future.