Over 1,000,000 Job Openings in Next Decade Forecast in new Labour Market Outlook; Shortage of over 80,000 Workers
February 7, 2022 – Today, the provincial government released the new Labour Market Outlook, which provides a forecast our provincial employment future. It presents insights into the expected supply and demand for labour, and outlines which industries and jobs will see the most growth and demand for workers. The new Labour Market Outlook presents an optimistic and positive forecast for our economy and job market, but also expects persistent labour shortages which could potentially derail business success over the coming decade.
The new Labour Market Outlook is forecasting over one million job openings over the coming 10 years (2021-2031), with 635,000 of those coming as replacement jobs for those retiring or leaving the workforce permanently, and 369,000 from new job creation/expansion. The health care sector will have the largest number of job openings, while the tech sector will be an industry experiencing significant growth and expansion, and fully 80% of these job openings will require post-secondary education.
Concerningly, even after accounting for international immigration, migration from other provinces, and young people entering the workforce, there will be a persistent labour shortage of 83,000 positions over the next 10 years without further efforts to bring more people into the labour force or increase productivity and technology.
Employers are already struggling to find enough workers in a variety of sectors and positions, and the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) is concerned this 83,000 gap in the future labour force will only exacerbate the challenges facing Burnaby and BC businesses, and could serve as an economic drag. With this forecast, the BBOT will continue our work to advocate for enhanced policies and actions from government to address the labour shortage, including:
- Increasing economic immigration to BC, and improving the immigration system to better attract skilled newcomers (See some of our work here: BC Tech Pilot / Increasing Flexibility in BC Provincial Nominee Program)
- Increasing access to childcare to allow more women and parents to return to the work force (See some of our work here: BBOT Makes Recommendations to Childcare Strategy / BBOT Calls for More Spaces, Supporting Early Childhood Educators in Budget Presentation)
- Finally addressing barriers to great foreign credential recognition (See some of our work here)
- Working with businesses on incentives and supports to increase apprenticeships and on-the-job training
- Supporting our post-secondary institutions with the tools and resources to increase seats for in-demand training and enhance work-integrated learning opportunities
- Develop greater ways to help workers and individuals upskill or re-skill to be able to do the jobs needed in the future
- Supporting programs that help newcomers and under-represented groups find greater employment opportunities (See some of our work here: BBOT Strikes Partnership with IECBC / Calling for Greater Language Supports for Newcomers )
- Financial incentives, such as the B.C. PST Rebate on Select Machinery and Equipment, to help businesses afford and adopt machinery and technology to increase productivity in an era of labour shortage
Read the new Labour Market Outlook here: