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
2018 
EXPANSION
2018-2028

REPLACEMENT
JOB

JOB OPENINGS
2018-2028
LEVEL 0: Usually requiring combination of education and experience
Retail and wholesale trade managers 990 140 230 370
Managers in agriculture 700 60 180 240
Construction managers 360 80 100 180
Restaurant and food service managers 340 50 70 110
Managers in natural resources production and fishing 250 20 80 100
LEVEL A: Usually requiring a Bachelor’s, Graduate or First Professional Degree
Elementary school and kindergarten teachers 750 90 150 240
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses 530 100 90 180
Secondary school teachers 280 30 60 90
Financial auditors and accountants 160 40 40 70
Other financial officers 90 40 20 60
LEVEL B: Usually requiring diploma, certificate or apprenticeship training
Accounting technicians and bookkeepers 740 140 200 340
Administrative officers 620 90 190 280
Carpenters 670 150 120 270
Administrative assistants 610 80 140 220
Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers 630 100 110 210
LEVEL C: Usually requiring secondary school and/or occupation- specific training
Transport truck drivers 1,710 180 450 630
Retail salespersons 1,290 200 190 390
Heavy equipment operators (except crane) 690 130 180 310
General office support workers 660 100 150 250
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates 360 80 70 150
LEVEL D: Usually requiring on-the-job training
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents 850 90 210 300
Construction trades helpers and labourers 680 150 110 260
Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations 780 110 60 180
Light duty cleaners 620 40 120 160
Cashiers 480 80 60 140

BC Labour Market Outlook 2018-2028: Northeast Region

Source: WorkBC

https://www.workbc.ca/Labour-Market-Industry/Labour-Market-Outlook.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 – National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016

Total labour force population aged 15 years and over by occupation 6,720
All occupations 6,580
Management occupations 590
Business, finance and administration occupations 895
Natural and applied sciences and related occupations 225
Health occupations 490
Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services 610
Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport 70
Sales and service occupations 1,665
Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations 1,425
Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations 280
Occupations in manufacturing and utilities 320

Source: Statistics Canada 2016 Census

Unemployment Rate Comparison (%)

Unadjusted for seasonality: