What We’re Reading: BC’s Pre- and Post-COVID Economy

In recent months, British Columbia has been lauded locally and internationally for avoiding the widespread outbreak of COVID-19, and resulting damage to the economy, that regions around the world continue to battle. The province’s pandemic death rate remains one of the lowest among large jurisdictions in Canada, the US and Western Europe.

Though exceptional healthcare leaders, a fortuitously timed spring break and management of long-term care homes contributed to BC’s success in swiftly flattening the curve, the region’s robust economy has also provided a strong foundation to weather the storm. For example, data shows that BC’s economy has outperformed most other Canadian provinces in the past several years, and has created substantially more economic output per person over the past decade. Also, employment in the province’s digital economy has outpaced growth in the general economy, particularly in Vancouver, which has established itself as a global technology hub – and, since digitization has become pivotal in the post-pandemic world, the digital economy here is likely to offer a strong path forward for the province as a whole (read our take on tech’s central role in economic recovery).

Normalized Employment in Digital and General Economy

Source: BC’s Pre- and Post-COVID Economy, ICTC

Ryan McLaughlin, Senior Economist & Research Analyst at ICTC, writes about BC’s Pre- and Post-COVID Economy. Here’s a quick preview of the first post from their Spotlight series on British Columbia and a link to the full article.

A Spotlight series on British Columbia

BC’s Pre- and Post-COVID Economy

By Ryan McLaughlin, July 3 2020

Canada’s Pacific melting pot province of British Columbia is rich in natural beauty, resources, and talent. Compared to Ontario and Quebec in particular, the province has so far managed to avoid a large number of COVID-19 infections and has suffered less economic damage as a result. Credit may be due to the smart policies BC enacted quickly, such as preventing nursing-home staff from working in multiple locations. Nevertheless, the economic shock from COVID-19 is enormous, and it remains to be seen how the economy will recover, and how society will restructure itself following the shock. This blog discusses the state of the BC economy pre-COVID and post-COVID.

Read the full article