Unemployment Rate in British Columbia is at a 6 Year Low.
Unemployment in BC has been at a record low since December last year. In an impressive upswing, the British Columbian economy has been topping provincial growth rankings in 2015. While the Labour Market has been weak for this first half of 2015, low gas prices have helped boost consumer spending to offset that deficit.
Further gains are expected as export-based industries are slowly picking up after a weather-led slow down caused a temporary dampening of demand of locally produced goods. Economists are pegging at a GDP growth rate of 3.0% in 2015 and 3.1% in 2016.
For the first half of 2015, the housing market has shown no immediate signs of cooling down. The second half is expected to continue this fiery hot trend as there is more demand than inventory. With increased valuations of properties around Lower Mainland and savings at the gas pump, consumers have increased their spending across the province. While unlikely to sustain, this hearty spending will remain firm for the year.
Poor Retail Performance
While the labour market in the retail sector has been typically poor with the exit of Target, closure of Future Shop and Sony Mobile Store. Although poor, economists expect this to be a temporary dip that should improve later in the year, especially with Nordstorm opening in Fall.
BC is a province with abundant resources; timber and LNG were some of the top picks despite some challenges. Poor weather conditions in US did hamper part of the export and demand of timber but a weak Canadian dollar helped it trade continually. There was additional demand of BC Timber in China and Japan as well.
Although LNG may have faced some challenges, a new development deal was signed by the BC government that shows a lot of promise and economists expect this to grow steadily in the future. It should be mentioned that while the final investment is yet to be made, it is looking very positive so far.
As we move into the 2nd half of 2015, we expect to see additional and steady growth across the province.
This is probably the best time to invest in manpower to ensure you are well equipped to handle the market growth.