Release: Persistent Labour Shortage Needs Action Says Burnaby Board of Trade Following Release of New Labour Market Outlook

Burnaby, BC –  One of the province’s largest chambers of commerce, the Burnaby Board of Trade, is calling for more action by the province to solve a persistent labour shortage following a forecast of 83,000 unfillable jobs over next decade in the new Labour Market Outlook released today.

The new Labour Market Outlook is forecasting over one million job openings over the coming 10 years (2021-2031) across BC, but notes that 83,000 of those cannot be filled without further action to bring more people into the labour force or increase productivity and technology.

“Employers across sectors are already struggling to find enough workers to fill vacancies today,” says Burnaby Board of Trade President & CEO Paul Holden. “If 83,000 more jobs go unfilled, this will only exacerbate the challenges facing local businesses, and could serve as an economic drag for the province as a whole,” adds Holden.

The Labour Market Outlook notes there will be a worker supply shortage of 83,000 over the next ten years even after accounting for international immigration, migration from other provinces, and young people entering the workforce for the first time. To meet this shortage, the Burnaby Board of Trade is encouraging the government to continue to act on policies that help more people enter the workforce, develop needed skills, and help businesses equip themselves with productivity tools for an era of persistent labour shortages.

“While the forecast of 1 million new jobs is exciting, the looming skills shortage is concerning.  But by investing in things like childcare so more parents can return to work, by making up-skilling and re-skilling easier and faster, by helping more people to enter the workforce, and by finally addressing foreign credential recognition, we can tackle this problem and seize the opportunities we have ahead of us,” adds Holden.


Cory Redekop
Director – Policy & Stakeholder Relations
Burnaby Board of Trade  /   604 412 0100

About the Burnaby Board of Trade:
As Burnaby’s chamber of commerce and the City’s economic development partner, the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) is one of the region’s largest and most active business associations.  The Burnaby Board of Trade is a catalyst for economic growth, and convener of business and community leaders, and a champion for business interests in Burnaby and across the region. Working closely with the municipality, its members, and various community stakeholders, the BBOT supports the growth of business and fosters a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable business environment.