Metro Vancouver employment growth slows

Slowing economic activity has limited the employment gains in Metro Vancouver. From April to May 2023, Metro Vancouver’s net total employment increased by 3,000 (+0.2%) with unemployment rate rising back to above 5%.

Employment index (February 2020=100) by occupation shows that legislative and senior management occupations reached 264.9 in May 2023 – most employment gain in Metro Vancouver.

The holistic economic metrics in our latest report provide additional insights on energy-efficient housing starts, health-adjusted life expectancy, and crime rates.
Read the Summer 2023 Report

Vancouver Employment


Real GDP* Growth

Metro Vancouver’s real GDP is forecasted to hit $158 billion in 2023 (0.5% annual growth). Our economy remains less fragile compare with other Canadian metropolitan cites and is forecasted to jump back up to 2.8% in 2024, faster than either BC or Canada.

Vancouver, BC and Canada

Business Numbers

Metro Vancouver businesses continue to bounce back from COVID-19. Continuing businesses* reached 85,094 in February 2023 – 6.4% above pre-pandemic levels of 79,994 in February 2020, mainly from construction and professional, scientific and technical services.

Metro Vancouver

*Continuing businesses are businesses that have at least one employee in the previous month and at least one employee in the current month.

Unemployment Indexes

Metro Vancouver’s unemployment index (February 2020=100) recovered to pre-pandemic levels in September 2022, but has crept up again as of November 2022. The region’s unemployment index hit 116.4 in May 2023 (-1.3% decrease from April 2023).

Unemployment Index

Economic Metrics

As one of North America’s fastest-growing low-carbon economies, Vancouver’s economy was performing exceptionally well before the global pandemic. Vancouver’s recent economic growth has been largely driven by a few key sectors – construction, technology, digital entertainment and the green economy – and has done so by becoming a model for sustainable green growth. As we look beyond GDP in measuring economic recovery, here are a few examples of the key metrics that we actively track in the pursuit of a diverse, resilient economy that helps deliver prosperity for all.

7.7%Office Vacancy RateUp 5 p.p from Q4 2021CBRE, Q1 2022
$1.7BHigh Impact InvestmentFacilitated by VECVEC, 2020
Top 30Startup EcosystemIn the WorldStartup Genome, 2022
87%Increase in green jobsCity of Vancouver, from 2010-2020VEC, 2021
#1VFX & Animation HubIn the World, 2020Variety Magazine, 2022
#3Film & TV Production Hubin North AmericaVEC, 2022
#1Large Americas Cities of the Future2021 – 2022, Top 10, OverallFDI Intelligence
+2.6%Average Weekly EarningsY-on-Y in B.C.Statistics Canada, May 2022
#1City for COVID economic recoveryIn CanadaVEC, 2021
$454MVenture Capitalto Vancouver Companies,
Q1 2022
CVCA, 2022
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