Population growth outside the Capital Regional District continues


DUNCAN, British Columbia, June 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to the Regional Check-Up report by the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC), job creation in the Vancouver Island/Coast increased for the fourth consecutive year. In 2018, annual average employment reached a new record of 396,600 positions, with an addition of 10,000 new jobs.

“Surprisingly, almost two-thirds of the new jobs were located outside Victoria. While Victoria remains the economic hub for our region, this is a positive indication for the rest of the Island,” said Woody Hayes, FCPA, FCA. “This is in line with the demographic shift we are starting to see across our region. Last year, over half of the region’s new residents chose to reside outside Victoria, or the Capital Regional District as a whole.”

Population growth in districts like Cowichan Valley was likely driven by relatively affordable housing. At the end of March, the benchmark price of a single-family home in Duncan was $471,500 compared to over $800,000 in Victoria.

“As we continue to see a shift of demographics to other areas of the Island, we can expect to see increased demand for services, which will likely translate to an expansion of economic activity,” noted Hayes.

The demographic shift is already creating some economic opportunities in the service sector. For example, of the 8,700 trades positions created in 2018, over 50 per cent occurred outside Victoria.

“A growing service-based economy creates new opportunities for workers who have traditionally worked in our goods sector. This should bring some stability to the economy, as the fortunes of our goods sector are reliant on many external factors and therefore tend to fluctuate year over year,” continued Hayes. “For example, after three years of steady job creation in the goods sector, we lost 4,300 jobs last year.”

Losses in the manufacturing industry contributed to the majority of the jobs lost in the goods sector. Increases in anti-dumping duties from the U.S. led to reduced paper production in 2018, so it was not surprising that almost two-thirds of the jobs lost in the manufacturing industry were in paper and wood production.

This trend continued into the first five months of 2019. During this period, the goods sector lost another 3,400 positions, led by further cuts in the manufacturing industry, the forestry, fishing, mining and oil and gas industry, as well as the construction industry. Some of these losses could be attributed to seasonal hiring. On the other hand, employment in the agriculture industry increased by 3,300 jobs.

About CPABC Regional Check-Up ­– Vancouver Island/Coast:
The Vancouver Island/Coast Development Region encompasses Vancouver Island and the central coast of the B.C. mainland from Powell River to Ocean Falls and Bella Coola. The Development Region makes up approximately 17 per cent of the provincial 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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