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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
Job creation is often touted as a primary reason to go ahead with energy projects like the Trans Mountain Pipeline. But in fact, energy takes a back seat to many other sectors.
For example, the tech sector is significant in job creation – it employs 84,000 people in BC, which is more than oil, mining, gas, and forestry combined. If this number surprises you, take a look at some other surprising stats on where BC’s wealth comes from. We find that the energy sector is small potatoes when it comes to job creation, funding social programs and generating wealth for our province.
Why does this conversation matter?
In order to decide whether energy development projects should go forward, it’s essential to have a good understanding of where the sector fits into the bigger economic picture. Of course we know that energy is important to Canada, but how important? In what ways? And is it more or less important than other sectors?
Where does our wealth come from?
It’s often said that British Columbia is a resource-based province. In actual fact, the reality is a lot more complex. While it’s true that much of BC was built on natural resources, and that even today sectors like technology and construction have a certain amount of inter-relationships with the resource sector, the basis of our economy has overwhelmingly shifted to service-based industries. More than 4/5 of us work in services and over 76% of our GDP comes from those sectors.
It’s also important to note that a significant part of our economy is based on small businesses. Small businesses make up 98% of all businesses here in BC, more than any other province.
Although economics can be complex and numbers can tell different stories depending on how they’re interpreted, some data speaks for itself. Here’s a chart breaking down the main sources of GDP in British Columbia:
Source: The 2012 British Columbia Economic Accounts, BC Stats
Oil, gas and support services make up just 3% of our GDP, compared to 15% for manufacturing and construction and over 23% for financial and real estate services. When secondary energy services are added into the equation, the total contribution to GDP is still only 11%. While this number is significant, it’s certainly not where most provincial economic activity is coming from.