Labour Force

Our well-educated, skilled and flexible workforce of more than 2.4 million is one of British Columbia’s greatest resources.

This dynamic labour force is growing to meet the needs of rapidly expanding industries such as high technology.

More than half of the labour force is employed in knowledge-based or trade-related industries, and three out of five people in our labour force are under 44 years of age. 

Below are some of the statistical highlights for the whole of B.C.'s labour force, for a more in-depth look, visit our British Columbia profile page.

Skilled Workers

British Columbia’s diverse, skilled and adaptable workforce is an asset for employers. Our cosmopolitan cities, temperate climate and clean environment make it easy to recruit and retain top performers.

  • Our workforce is highly educated, with more than 70 per cent having taken post-secondary education and well over a quarter possessing a university degree.
  • Our workforce is flexible, with more than 80 per cent employed in service industries, including a quarter in professional, educational and business support services.
  • Our workforce is multi-lingual – 360,000 British Columbia workers have one of the Chinese dialects as their first language. Another 194,000 have Punjabi as their first language and 51,000 have Korean.
 

Quality Of Life

British Columbia’s quality of life attracts and retains highly skilled workers.

British Columbia’s diverse, skilled and adaptable workforce is an asset for employers. Our cosmopolitan cities, temperate climate and clean environment make it easy to recruit and retain top performers.

  • Chosen by Financial Times' fDi Magazine as the top large city in the Americas and the third most livable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2015, Vancouver is also consistently rated a top destination for travelers.
  • The Mercer Human Resource Consulting group’s 2015 Quality of Living Survey ranked Vancouver fifth out of 230 cities worldwide and first in North America.

Learn more about our world-class quality of life.

 


International Immigration

International immigration is a key source of new skills for British Columbia. Our expanding economy, supportive government programs and outstanding quality of life make us a global magnet for the talent you need for business success.

  • Approximately 64,000 temporary and foreign worker and international mobility permits are granted each year in British Columbia. These individuals are eager to succeed in our expanding economy and are attracted, in part, by our spectacular natural beauty, vibrant culture, and outstanding public services.
  • British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program helps the recruitment of highly-skilled foreign workers and entrepreneurs. The Skills Connect Program accelerates the entry of skilled immigrants into their fields of expertise.

Labour Force

Unemployment Rate 5.4%
Labour Force Participation Rate 63.8%
Source: National Household Survey, 2011