SOURCE: Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia

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September 18, 2017 10:42 ET

B.C.'s job creation continues to gain momentum

CPAs say developing and maintaining an educated and skilled workforce remains a priority

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - September 18, 2017) - According to the BC Check-Up, an annual economic report released by the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC), impressive job gains pushed the unemployment rate down from 6.2 to 6.0 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

B.C. gained 73,300 jobs, bumping the provincial total to 2.38 million at the end of 2016. Overall, B.C.'s growing service sector contributed to approximately 85 per cent of the new jobs. Most of this job creation was undoubtedly concentrated in Southwest B.C., which accounted for approximately 94 per cent of the province's new jobs.

"Strong consumer demand bolstered by population growth across B.C., thriving film production, and unprecedented real estate activity in urban regions fueled economic activity and employment growth across the service sector," said Lori Mathison, FCPA, FCGA, LLB, president and CEO of CPABC, "In addition, housing demand drove increased construction activity, and the industry saw impressive job gains in Southwest B.C., Vancouver Island/Coast, and the Thompson-Okanagan development regions."

The report noted that the province saw a small decline in educational attainment in 2016. After peaking at 70.2 per cent in 2015, the share of workers between the ages 25 and 54 with at least some post-secondary education decreased by 0.8 percentage points to 69.4 per cent in 2016. This is 3.6 per cent below the national average.

Generally, jobs requiring higher education are better paid, and therefore it was not surprising that the province's average labour compensation per worker also slightly declined by 0.6 per cent to $54,030 in 2016, which again was lower than the national average of $58,162.

"Although there was a slight decline in average labour compensation between 2015 and 2016, B.C. has had the greatest increase over the past five years when compared to Alberta, Ontario, and Canada as a whole," continued Mathison, "Continued economic growth across B.C., particularly in the service sector, will continue to generate many high paying jobs requiring higher education.

Learn more about the BC Check-Up at www.bccheckup.com.

About CPA British Columbia
The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the training, governing, and regulatory body for almost 35,000 CPA members and 5,000 CPA students. CPABC carries out its primary mission to protect the public by enforcing the highest professional and ethical standards and contributing to the advancement of public policy. CPAs are recognized internationally for bringing superior financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, and leadership to organizations.

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