Which Industries Employ British Columbians?
BC is made up of thousands of small businesses, mainly in service-based sectors. We may think of BC as a resource-based province, but only 1.2% of British Columbians work in the oil and gas sector.
What About the National Economy – Where Does Canada’s Wealth Come From?
Real estate is by far Canada’s largest sector overall, contributing a full 13% of national GDP. Manufacturing and retail and wholesale trade are also significant, each bringing in 11% of GDP. Although key industries vary across regions, some clear national trends are also evident.
Would the Kinder Morgan Oil Pipeline Create Jobs?
According to Kinder Morgan, building the pipeline would create 50 permanent jobs in BC and 40 permanent jobs in Alberta. It’s uncertain how many temporary jobs would be created, and if they would benefit otherwise unemployed workers.
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The transit plebiscite is launching in a week, and whether or not you think a plebiscite is useful, it’s brought up much needed conversations about what Greater Vancouver’s transit system looks like now and should look like in the future.
It’s a fact that our population is growing and our transit system needs to grow, but let’s look at the economic impact that investment in transit could have in Metro Vancouver.
Transit as a job creator
Transit gets people moving, but it also gets our local economy flowing. You don’t have to be a frequent user of public transit to benefit from a good transit system. The economic impacts of investing in transit creates benefits that take many different forms:
- Direct ROI & Multiplier Effects: It is estimated that for every $1 invested in public transit, there are about $4 in economic returns. ($1.70 benefits from spending, and $2.00 impact from long-term cost savings)
- More local spending: Shifting spending from automobile expenses to the other household purchases adds 3.6 Jobs for every $1 million shifted
- Creates jobs: More direct and indirect jobs are created per dollar invested in mass transit infrastructure than any other type of infrastructure spending including projects focused on energy, water, public facilities, or any other mode of transportation
Savings from congestion costs
In addition to job creation, transit investment brings us cost savings through the alleviation of congestion, and as we’ve heard before, ‘time is money’.
Congestion is the culprit of slower traffic and increased freight expenses, and the cost of congestion is estimated at approximately $500 million per year by The Mayors’ Council. In addition to this, a recent study by the C.D. Howe Institute and Clean Energy Canada looked at other costs of congestion, the hidden costs such as lost face-to-face meetings from choosing not to travel because of gridlock traffic. Maybe you decided not to go out for dinner or to the hockey game because the traffic was way too busy. Or maybe you decided not to have that business meeting because there was no way to get there in time.
The C.D. Howe report estimates that these hidden costs are between $500 million and $1.2 billion per year for the Metro Vancouver area. This is separate from the $500 million in visible losses calculated by the Mayors’ Council. C.D. Howe reports that these hidden costs include workers not taking jobs that are best fit for them due to traffic congestion, a smaller pool of job candidates available to businesses, and lost opportunities for face-to-face learning.
If it’s a responsible and profitable economy that we’re moving towards, building a better transit infrastructure is an essential component of that vision.
DOWNLOAD “Is BC Poised to be the Next Tech Hot Spot?”
When tech grows, everyone benefits
Overall, the tech sector is responsible for $23-26 billion of BC’s GDP and more than 165,000 jobs. Growth in the sector benefits the rest of the economy more than growth in primary resource industries.
The potential is huge, but more investments are needed
BC’s tech sector is growing at double the rate of the overall provincial economy; however, only 11% of Canada’s high tech jobs are in BC, compared to 41% in Ontario, and employment growth has been relatively flat since 2009. More strategic investments are needed to help BC achieve its potential.
Download our report to read more and see our key findings
Sometimes it *is* just about wind turbines and home retrofits.
In 2007, Glenn Johnson, a Surrey resident, founded Endurance Wind Power. Less than 10 years later, his wind turbine manufacturing and energy generation business employs 155 educated professionals – and the majority live in Surrey, where the company is based.
This company is just one component of the clean tech hub that the City of Surrey is hoping to establish in the next five years as a way to diversity the local economy and create local job opportunities for the half-million people living in Canada’s fastest-growing municipality. Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus has partnered with the City and is investing heavily in clean tech research, bolstering this opportunity.
A burgeoning industry
Endurance Wind Power, along with other emerging Surrey clean tech businesses, is part of a larger trend. High tech jobs, and specifically those in clean technology, have been in the news a lot lately – and for good reason. They’re fast becoming one of BC’s core economic pillars.
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How important is the energy sector to BC?
And is it more or less important than other sectors? We’ve compiled this report to find out where the jobs, GDP and growth are coming from in order to determine BC’s main economic drivers.
DOWNLOAD “What’s fuelling BC’s economy?”
Our first Credible Conversations forum was held on May 29th at the Creekside Community Centre in Vancouver. Over 100 business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians, First Nations representatives and BC residents came together to discuss the economic risks of pipeline expansion and explore how to build a more diversified economy here on the west coast. Over the next few days, we will be posting videos, photos and presentations from the forum here on our blog.
Will BC businesses benefit from new oil pipelines?
The first experts’ panel explored the economic impact of oil pipeline development on the province’s economy as a whole.
Moderated by Mandy Nahanee from the Squamish Nation, panelists included Karen Campbell, a staff lawyer with Ecojustice, Wes Regan, CEO of the Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association, and Ngaio Hotte, an economist with the UBC Fisheries Economics Research Unit.
Watch the full discussion here:
And here are the slides used by Ngaio Hotte in her presentation. A more detailed analysis can be found on the UBC Fisheries Economics Research Unit “talking fish” blog.