British Columbia Technology Industry Association

British Columbia Technology Industry Association

February 22, 2012 15:00 ET

Resilient BC Tech Sector Forecasts 3,000 New Jobs

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2012) - The British Columbia technology sector has weathered the global downturn and will create thousands of new jobs in the coming year, according to the latest survey of B.C. tech companies.

Technology companies in B.C. expect to generate at least 3,000 new jobs this year, up more than 5 per cent from the year before. The biggest demand will be for software and hardware engineers, customer support staff, sales and marketing staff, and technical managers.

"This robust job growth shows the resilience of B.C.'s technology sector," said BC Technology Industry Association President & CEO Bill Tam. "Our industry has added back all of the jobs lost in the downturn and has returned to peak employment levels. We're now ready to set the course for the next decade, driving new records for industry employment and revenues."

The 2012 BCTIA TechTalentBC survey, a bi-annual study of B.C. technology companies, shows that respondents grew their number of employees by more than 12 per cent between September 2010 and September 2011. Those same companies predict a need for at least 3,000 and potentially as many as 4,000 new employees between now and September 2012.

There are more than 8,000 companies in the B.C. technology sector, and more than 16,000 sole entrepreneurs. Over 80,000 people work in the sector, which has created more than 20,000 jobs during the past decade.

"The tech sector now employs more British Columbians than the forestry, mining, and oil and gas sectors combined," said Tam. "These are clean, knowledge-based jobs offering high salaries that attract skilled workers from across B.C and from around the world."

The jobs in highest demand in the next year reflect the improved outlook for the industry since the economic downturn in late 2008. After a strong focus on sales during the recession, companies are now reporting that they are increasing their staffing in research and development and in customer support. As the industry again nears full employment, there is growing concern about an emerging talent shortage. While new graduates and a net migration of skilled workers from other parts of Canada and the world have increased the supply of labour to this market, the continued growth will create a new talent crunch as predicted in the prior 2010 TechTalentBC study.

"B.C. Tech companies have been increasingly creative in their recruitment and retention practices, and will need to remain diligent in their human resources practices to stay globally competitive," said Tam.

"This survey echoes our own short-term outlook as we hire more people and prepare to take our new technology to market," said Ron Klopfer, CEO of Etalim Inc. "This is an exciting time to be part of B.C.'s burgeoning technology sector. British Columbia is now known as a great place to work, learn, and live. You can't beat it as a launch pad for success."

Click here to download the 2012 TechTalentBC report (http://www.bctia.org/Resources/eLibrary/TechTalentBC/2012-TechTalentBC-Labour-Study) or go to www.bctia.org.

About the BCTIA

The BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) is an industry-funded organization promoting the growth of British Columbia's knowledge economy. Our membership of 2,700+ member companies employs over 60,000 workers and represents companies of all sizes, spanning every sector and region of the province.

Backgrounder

TOP 10 FACTS ABOUT THE B.C. TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY

  1. More than 80,000 people work in the British Columbia technology sector.
  2. There are more than 8,000 companies and more than 16,000 sole proprietors working in technology in B.C.
  3. The tech sector created more than 20,000 jobs in B.C. the past 10 years.
  4. Technology companies surveyed expect to create 3,000 and as many as 4,000 new jobs between now and September 2012.
  5. The technology sector now employs more people than the forestry, mining, and oil and gas sectors combined.
  6. The Technology sector has outperformed the BC economy as a whole for the past decade.
  7. Revenue growth in B.C.'s tech sector is outpacing the rest of Canada.
  8. Technology jobs grew 50 per cent faster than overall job growth in the province.
  9. Technology wages are 50 per cent higher than the average industrial wage in B.C.
  10. 82 per cent of tech companies are small businesses with ten or fewer employees.

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