Metro Vancouver employment continues to strengthen

Total employment in Metro Vancouver has steadily increased since summer 2020. The beginning of 2022 marked the COVID-19 omicron variant and the pandemic’s fifth wave, triggering a brief decline in employment; however, total numbers rose to 1,539,900 in May 2022. Our employment index (base month – February 2020) shows workers aged 55 years and over have recovered best from the pandemic within Vancouver.

Although overall employment in Metro Vancouver has recovered from pre-pandemic levels, there are still many industries experiencing a labour shortage – construction is hit worst, with the lowest employment index.

The new Beyond GDP section in our latest report also features insights on life satisfaction, urban greenness and local business conditions.
Read the Summer 2022 Report

Vancouver Employment


Real GDP* Growth

Metro Vancouver’s real GDP surpassed pre-pandemic levels at $153 billion by the close of 2021. COVID-19 restrictions lifted in the first quarter of 2022 – resulting in increased commerce – and Metro Vancouver’s GDP growth could hit 3.7% in 2022. This is slightly lower than the projected provincial and national real GDP growth rates of 4.2%.

Vancouver, BC and Canada

Business Numbers

Metro Vancouver businesses continue to bounce back from COVID-19. Continuing businesses dramatically declined by 14% in June 2020 but has climbed back to 83,478 in February 2022, 4.3% above pre-COVID levels of 80,004 businesses in February 2020..

Metro Vancouver

Unemployment Indexes

Metro Vancouver’s unemployment has continued to decrease since summer 2020 but is still not yet back to pre-pandemic levels. The sixth nation-wide pandemic wave in spring this year impacted the region’s unemployment index (February 2020 = 100), which reached 121.2 in May 2022 – the highest among other major Canadian metropolitan cities.

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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