Labour & Employment Policy
BC’s changing demographics and shifting employment opportunities present key challenges for employers, such as how to find enough skilled workers, how to adjust to a more diverse and aging workforce and how to comply with workplace regulations. The Council encourages rigorous analysis and proactive policies to address labour issues in advance of marketplace challenges. The Council also promotes effective relationships between employers and employees by providing information to its members on important labour issues and advising government on policies that affect the workplace.
A Snapshot of BC’s Fastest Growing Industries
We look at the 30 BC industries that have grown most rapidly over the past five years, based on average annual growth in economic output (real GDP) between 2011 and 2016.
Preparing Canada's Workforce for the Next 150: Part One - Government Driven Solutions
In light of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations this year, there will be many conversations about innovative, exciting ideas to advance national and regional prosperity. During these discussions, it is important not to lose sight of the less exciting—but vital—work of tending to our policy frameworks so that British Columbians are well prepared to succeed amid shifting economic, technological and labour market realities.
Another Look at Labour Market Mismatches
There is a cost to the economy when workers are unable to find employment that makes effective use of their particular skills, experience and credentials
Finlayson & St. Laurent Op-Ed: A Tale of Two Economies: Leveraging Regional Immigration to Enhance Growth (PeopleTalk Spring 2017)
Two factors will largely determine the future trajectory of economic growth in British Columbia: productivity performance, and the extent to which the labour force expands over time. The hurdles to achieving long-term economic growth include an aging population, a low natural birth rate, and intense global competition for talent and capital.
Urbanization Feeds Divergence
The outlook for economic growth across B.C. is not uniform. In fact, ongoing urbanization and regional gaps in economic opportunity are feeding into a story of two increasingly diverging economies in the province.
We're Better Off When We're All Better Off
In honour of International Women’s Day, we’d like to highlight a few points that showcase women’s progress and the need to continue with policies that aim to grow talent.
BC Jobs Part I: A Visual Summary of BC's 2016 Job Performance Within Canada
In this first of a two part series of blogs on BC Jobs, we provide an overview of employment growth in 2016 within a comparative national framework.
BC2035 is about creating a shared vision of BC’s future and laying down a pathway to realize that vision. It is about initiating conversations, fostering greater collaboration and getting politicians, policy makers, First Nations leaders, and business leaders to think about, prepare for and act on the future.
Finlayson Op-Ed: Freelance job market booming, but there are real risks (Troy Media & Business in Vancouver)
The rise of the gig or sharing economy is one of the most visible trends shaping the contemporary labour market.
Gig jobs are an example of what economists describe as nonstandard work. Such work can be contrasted with a traditional job, in which a person has a durable and structured relationship with a specific employer within a permanent workforce.
Today, more people than ever generate income via contracting, freelancing, temporary assignments and various kinds of oncall arrangements.
Finlayson Op-Ed: Welcome to the "Gig" Economy (People Talk)
The rise of the “gig” or “sharing” economy is one of the most consequential trends shaping the contemporary labour market. “Gig” jobs are an example of what economists describe as “contingent” work. Such work can be contrasted with a traditional job, in which a person has a durable and structured employment relationship with a specific employer that maintains a permanent (or long-term) workforce. Today, more people than ever before are generating income via contracting, free-lancing, temporary assignments, and various kinds of on-call arrangements. All of these forms of non-traditional work are part of the “gig economy.”
Tapping into a "Motherload" of Opportunity
Women, particularly in the child-rearing years of 20-49 years, are less active than their male peers in the workforce. This particular group of sub-optimally engaged women exemplify “missed opportunity."
Tapping a "Motherload" of Opportunity: How BC Can Gain From More Accessible Childcare
Women, particularly in the child-rearing years, are less active than their male peers in the workforce. The correlation between child-rearing and labour force participation is not coincidental.
5 Points of Interest about BC’s Labour Market
The BC job market is very healthy and employment is growing at a robust pace. Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey shows that between September and October of this year BC gained another ~15,000 jobs, further underscoring the fact that BC stands out in the federation on most key labour market metrics.
New Regional Effort Aims to Establish Cascadia Innovation Corridor
British Columbia and Washington leaders come together to strengthen collaboration, create cross-border opportunity
Innovation for Jobs and Productivity:
Fostering High-Growth BC Businesses, Creating More High-Paying Jobs
How can British Columbia draw on its strengths to build a vibrant, diverse economy, one that produces rewarding employment opportunities and rising incomes for the people who work and do business here? Scholars and leading international organizations agree that the best route to sustained prosperity is by developing a highly productive economy.
Labour Market Adaptation in the Age of Automation
As disruptive technologies push the frontiers of automation and encroach on some of the advantages that humans have been thought to possess over machines, the way we work is being transformed.
“I have a master’s degree...but I’m serving sushi.”
Despite hard work and best efforts, the majority of fresh-faced graduates experience a delayed entry into career-oriented jobs, find themselves underemployed—or both. Very rarely are young graduates told what they actually need to be prepared for in the contemporary job market.
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Business input vital to immigration system’s economic success (Business in Vancouver)
There are currently 4.7 million people living in B.C. Over the past 20 years, our population has risen by 908,000. Back in 1995, the population was growing at an annual rate of 2.8%, based on strong net interprovincial migration, international migration, and a relatively high rate of natural increase (births minus deaths). Now, the population is increasing by 1% annually, which is higher than the Canadian average but slower than in decades past.
In the next 20 years, our population is projected to expand by 1.14 million. Natural population growth dwindles after 2015 and approaches zero by 2030. At that point, B.C.’s population will be rising solely due to net in-migration from other provinces and countries. Of the two sources of in-migrants, international immigration will have a bigger role in determining B.C.’s demographic and economic future. Thus, it is more important than ever that immigration policy is aligned with our economic needs. Unfortunately, based on some initial actions by the Justin Trudeau government, it appears that economic considerations will carry less weight in immigration decisions.
Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto: Automation and the Future of Jobs
The way we work is changing. Many traditional jobs that developed over the last century are at high risk of being automated within the next 10 to 20 years. Some recent research suggests nearly 42% of the Canadian labour force may be affected in this way by 2035. The same percentage, 42%, also applies to the proportion of “tasks” performed today by paid employees that could be automated using existing technologies.
Off to Work: Improving the School-to-Work Transition for Recent University Graduates
Human capital is maximized when a worker’s qualifications and skills match those required by their job. Delayed PSE school-to-work transitions may help to explain Canada’s lacklustre productivity growth.
Linking the Education System with the Changing Nature of Work
The Canadian education system is struggling to keep up-to-date with a dynamic and unsettled economic landscape and the prospect of disruptive transformations in the job market.