Metro Vancouver employment still strong

Despite some layoffs in the local tech industry, total employment remains strong. Metro Vancouver’s total employment in January 2023 jumped to 1,552,200 with the unemployment rate hovering around pre-pandemic levels of 4.6%.

Employment data by immigration status shows that immigrants who have lived in Vancouver for five or fewer years saw a positive 6.4 percentage points gain in employment between February 2020 and January 2023 – the strongest gain when compared to other major Canadian metropolitan cities.

The Beyond GDP metrics in our latest report provides additional insights on labour productivity, active transportation and voter turnout.
Read the Spring 2023 Report

Vancouver Employment


Real GDP* Growth

Metro Vancouver’s real GDP is expected to hit $160 billion in 2022 (a 2.8% annual growth). Our economy remains less fragile when compared with other Canadian metropolitan cities and is forecasted to achieve 2.2% annual growth in 2023, faster than the province of BC.

Vancouver, BC and Canada

Business Numbers

Metro Vancouver businesses continue to bounce back from COVID-19. Continuing businesses* reached 84,359 in November 2022 – 5.2% above pre-COVID levels of 80,155 in February 2020, mainly from professional, scientific and technical services industry.

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 and has continued to improve since then. The unemployment index reached at 104.6 in January 2023 (-1.4% decrease from December 2022).

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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