SMITHERS, British Columbia, June 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to the Regional Check-Up, an annual economic report by the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC), Northwest B.C. experienced modest economic growth in 2018.

“Our region’s mining industry kept busy in 2018. Brucejack, which began production in 2017, achieved its first full year of production. The Silvertip mine also resumed its operations and declared commercial production after completing its upgrades. Output at the Rio Tinto smelter also increased. The only mine that reported a decline in production was Red Chris,” said Jeanne MacNeil, CPA, CA, partner with Edmison Mehr in Smithers. “These factors combined helped create 700 primary metal manufacturing jobs in Northwest B.C.”

Despite some challenges, the forestry sector was healthy for most of 2018. Lumber manufacturing was stable for most of the year, until the last quarter when lumber prices plummeted. Falling lumber prices and shrinking timber supply reduced work for 400 loggers and forestry-support workers.

Overall Northwest B.C. added 600 jobs in 2018. This was mostly driven by gains in the service sector, specifically in the accommodation and food services, public administration, and other service industries. Collectively, the three industries added 1,900 jobs. These gains helped offset losses in the trade and construction industries.

“The $40 billion LNG Canada project has begun ground work for development. As activity ramps up for this project, we can expect a boost to our economy. At its peak construction, the LNG Canada project is expected to create up to 10,000 jobs and employ up to 450 people permanently. In addition, the project will create other indirect jobs, particularly in the service sector,” continued MacNeil.

Between December 2018 and May 2019, Northwest B.C. gained another 1,000 jobs. This was led by employment in construction and in services, likely tied to activity at the LNG Canada project and at the Port of Prince Rupert.

About CPABC Regional Check-Up – Northwest B.C.:
The Nechako Development Region comprises the Bulkley-Nechako and Stikine Regional Districts. The North Coast Development Region comprises the Skeena-Queen Charlotte and Kitimat-Stikine Regional Districts. Together, these two development regions make up approximately one-third of B.C.’s geographical area and 2.0 per cent of B.C.’s population.

The CPABC Regional Check-Up reports look at British Columbia’s eight Development Regions as a place to work, invest, and live. The reports are available online at: www.bccheckup.com.

About CPA British Columbia
The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the training, governing, and regulatory body for over 35,000 CPA members and 5,000 CPA students and candidates. CPABC carries out its primary mission to protect the public by enforcing the highest professional and ethical standards and contributing to the advancement of public policy. CPAs are recognized internationally for bringing superior financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, and leadership to organizations.


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