Unemployment finally recovers to pre-Covid levels

Total employment in Metro Vancouver continues to surpass pre-pandemic levels, following the trend beginning in summer 2021. Total employment in October 2022 jumped to 1,546,700, and our unemployment rate has also recovered to pre-pandemic levels, reaching a low of 4.4%.

The job vacancy rate in British Columbia reached 6.8% in Q2 2022 – the highest in Canada. However, difficulties in hiring new employees, – a trend that began during the pandemic – is likely to present challenges in the coming months.

The Beyond GDP metrics in our latest report provides additional insights on income inequality, food insecurity and education attainment.
Read the Winter 2022/23 Report

Vancouver Employment


Real GDP* Growth

Metro Vancouver’s real GDP surpassed pre-pandemic levels by the close of 2021 and forecasted to hit $160 billion in 2022 (2.8% annual growth). However, provincial real GDP is expected to downgrade with accumulated interest rate pressure.

Vancouver, BC and Canada

Business Numbers

Metro Vancouver businesses continue to bounce back from COVID-19. Continuing businesses surpassed pre-pandemic levels since February 2022 and reached 84,600 in July 2022 – 6% above pre-COVID levels of 79,977 businesses in February 2020.

Metro Vancouver

Unemployment Indexes

Metro Vancouver’s unemployment rate has now recovered to pre-pandemic levels, with unemployment numbers also continuing to decrease since summer 2020. The unemployment index (February 2020=100) stood at 103.0 in October 2022, close to pre-pandemic levels.

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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Local Economic Drivers

Building a resilient economy requires a commitment to assessing all decision-making against global trends, risks and opportunities