Go north? B.C. reports more jobs than workers by 2016

Jul 21, 2011

With Washington’s unemployment hovering at 9.2 percent and the economy sputtering along, new figures released yesterday in British Columbia makes one wonder if going north might not be the next big emigration story.

A new provincial government report predicts the number of skilled workers needed will exceed the supply of workers available by 2016. One million job openings are expected in B.C. by 2020.

Another report showed 28,000 jobs created in June with 238,000 jobs created over 12 months, putting the country's unemployment rate at 7.4 percent.

One-third of the new jobs available will result from the province’s economic growth, while two-thirds are spurred on by retirements and the aging workforce.

The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation says new migrants to B.C. are expected to fill one-third of job openings to 2020. And approximately 78 percent of job openings over the next decade will require some post-secondary education and training or a university degree.

So where will the other two-thirds of the skilled workers come from?

The ministry said in a press release:

Responding to the increasing need for skilled workers in B.C., the government is investing over $470 million in jobs training and skills development programs this year. The government has also developed Skills for Growth, a labor market strategy to ensure that workforce skills in British Columbia match and meet the economic needs of the Province.

But what about immigration? We’ll be on the phone finding out, so check back.