A Diverse, Growing Workforce

Opportunities abound in Northeast British Columbia with core industries of employment being construction, retail trade, other private services, food services & drinking places, truck transportation and oil and gas extraction and its supporting services. For many years, the economies of the northeast have been diversifying, from what was for many years primarily resource and agriculture-based economies. Communities in the northeast have now matured to where the top five primary industries by employment represent less than half of the overall jobs in the region.

Boasting consistently low unemployment rates, the northeast region also boasts the highest full-time employment share (83%) when compared to all other regions in British Columbia.

Because Dawson Creek is centrally located and is serviced by many highways, workers who live in Dawson Creek are able to commute to jobs in other municipalities such as Tumbler Ridge, Chetwynd, Taylor and Fort St John. Also, the rural population is able to easily travel into Dawson Creek for work.

The latest predictions in B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook (2017-2027) anticipate overall annual growth in employment of 1.0% in the Northeast. Significantly, the Construction industry, the largest sector of employment, is expected to also be one of the fastest growing industries of employment, growing more than 20% by 2027 with nearly 1,000 net new positions added.

Top Industries: 2017-2027 (Northeast)

Industry 2017 2027 Change (%)
Construction 4752 5732 20.61%
Other Retail Trade 4178 4454 6.61%
Other Private Services 3356 3678 9.62%
Food services and drinking places 2882 3270 13.44%
Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction 2167 2503 15.49%
Truck transportation 2050 2247 9.58%
Elementary and secondary schools 1743 1817 4.26%
Oil and gas extraction 1580 1856 17.47%
Wholesale Trade 1367 1581 15.59%
Other Manufacturing 1194 1163 -2.60%
Management of Companies and Enterprises & Administrative and Support 1153 1361 18.01%
Accommodation services 1013 1149 13.44%
Hospitals 1003 1068 6.48%
Farms 925 949 2.64%
Ambulatory health care services 898 1098 22.27%
Social assistance 867 926 6.86%
Architectural, Engineering and Related Services 751 799 6.44%
Other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 724 771 6.44%
Real Estate Rental and Leasing 693 740 6.75%
Support activities for transportation 547 599 9.58%
Source: BC Labour Market Outlook 2017-2027

Top Occupations: 2017-2027 (Northeast)

Description 2017 2027 Change (%)
Transport truck drivers 2690 2973 11%
Retail salespersons 1595 1713 7%
Cashiers 1388 1480 7%
Retail and wholesale trade managers 1231 1320 7%
Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators 1034 1150 11%
Accounting technicians and bookkeepers 1018 1103 8%
Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations 922 1046 13%
Cooks 851 978 15%
Administrative officers 849 953 12%
Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers 838 926 10%
Heavy equipment operators (except crane) 810 962 19%
Managers in agriculture 756 776 3%
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents 721 819 14%
Construction trades helpers and labourers 707 850 20%
Administrative assistants 698 757 8%
Elementary school and kindergarten teachers 644 671 4%
Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics 620 699 13%
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses 599 684 14%
Carpenters 550 657 19%
Food and beverage servers 545 618 13%

Source: BC Labour Market Outlook 2017-2027

Top Ten Industries Employment History/Forecast: 2012-2027 (Northeast)

Source: BC Labour Market Outlook 2017-2027

Job Openings Driven Primarily by Replacement

As in all other areas of the Canada’s labour market, the majority of job openings in the coming years are expected to be a result of replacement, when existing workers leave the workforce due to retirement, death, or disability. Recent years’ investments by the Federal and Provincial governments in workforce training facilities and programs will help to mitigate this challenge, by providing state-of-the-art educational opportunities right in Dawson Creek 
 
  Employment (2017) Avg. Annual Employment Growth Rate Expansion Replacement Job Openings
Industry       % of 2017   % of 2017  
Construction 4,750 1.90% 1,010 21% 1,570 33% 2,580
Other Retail Trade 4,180 0.60% 260 6% 870 21% 1,130
Other Private Services 3,360 0.90% 320 10% 820 24% 1,130
Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction 2,170 1.50% 340 16% 750 35% 1,090
Truck transportation 2,050 0.90% 190 9% 680 33% 870
Oil and gas extraction 1,580 1.60% 280 18% 570 36% 860
Food services and drinking places 2,880 1.30% 390 14% 400 14% 790
Elementary and secondary schools 1,740 0.40% 70 4% 630 36% 700
Wholesale Trade 1,370 1.50% 220 16% 430 31% 650
Management of Companies and Enterprises & Administrative and Support 1,150 1.70% 210 18% 350 30% 560

Source: BC Labour Market Outlook 2017-2027

Employment Projections

OCCUPATION EMPLOYMENT 2017 EXPANSION 2017-2027 REPLACEMENT 2017-2027 JOB OPENINGS 2017-2027
LEVEL 0: Usually requiring combination of education and experience
Retail and wholesale trade managers 1,770 -40 640 600
Restaurant and food service managers 300 40 80 120
Construction managers 220 20 90 100
Manufacturing managers 120 10 60 70
Managers in agriculture 220 -20 80 60
LEVEL A: Usually requiring a Bachelor’s, Graduate or First Professional Degree
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses 990 110 320 430
College and other vocational instructors 360 90 140 230
Elementary school and kindergarten teachers 840 -80 280 200
Secondary school teachers 450 -40 160 120
Forestry professionals 750 -130 220 90
LEVEL B: Usually requiring diploma, certificate or apprenticeship training
Administrative officers 500 100 240 340
Social and community service workers 790 90 240 330
Cooks 690 110 120 230
Accounting technicians and bookkeepers 520 30 180 210
Carpenters 630 50 150 200
LEVEL C:Usually requiring secondary school and/or occupation- specific training
Transport truck drivers 1,370 10 460 460
Retail salespersons 2,550 -60 430 370
Heavy equipment operators (except crane) 820 90 250 340
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates 480 80 160 240
Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants 620 -60 220 170
LEVEL D:Usually requiring on-the-job training
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents 870 20 240 260
Construction trades helpers and labourers 700 70 120 190
Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations 1,090 100 80 180
Light duty cleaners 420 10 90 90
Cashiers 1,040 -20 100 80

BC Labour Market Outlook 2017-2027: Northeast Region

Source: WorkBC

https://www.workbc.ca/Labour-Market-Industry/B-C-s-Economy/Reports.aspx

Average / Median Income

Tax Year Average ($) Median ($)
2003 32,045 21,000
2004 33,119 22,300
2005 35,053 24,700
2006 40,140 28,900
2007 41,964 32,330
2008 43,494 34,750
2009 42,660 34,600
2010   36,150
2011   37,020

Source: BC Stats and Statistics Canada (most current data available from 2011 Census)

Occupation

Total – Occupation – National Occupational Classification for Statistics 12,285
Retail salespersons and sales clerks 675
Truck drivers 435
Cashiers 430
Retail trade managers 370
Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related occupations 270 
Community and social service workers 240 
Administrative officers 220 
Cooks  205 
Heavy equipment operators (except crane) 200 
Registered nurses 200

Source: Statistics Canada 2011 Census

Unemployment Rate Comparison (%)

Unadjusted for seasonality: