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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%) compared to other regions in British Columbia.

The 2016 National Census found that Dawson Creek showed the highest percentage median income growth (32%) of all metropolitan areas in British Columbia when compared to the previous 2011 census.

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.

Labour Market Outlook

Every year, the British Columbia government updates their 10-year labour market projections by region and publishes B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook through WorkBC. Dawson Creek is found in the Northeast region of the province which includes Fort St. John, Chetywnd, Tumbler Ridge, Fort Nelson and all the communities in between. As per the current research, about 1.6 percent of B.C.’s workers live in the Northeast, and when compared to the provincial average, the population in the Northeast is younger. 

Higher Than Provincial Average 10-Year Employment Growth Rate 

The latest predictions in B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook (2019-2029) anticipate that the Northeast employment demand in the region is forecast to increase each year by 2.1 percent on average until 2929, which is much faster than the provincial growth of 1.0 percent.  As per the B.C. Labour Market Outlook, over the 10-year forecast period, a total of 18,000 job openings are anticipated. The three industries anticipated to have the fastest employment growth in the region over the forecast period are Telecommunications, Insurance Carriers and Related Activities, and Rail Transportation.

Major Employers in the Northeast Region

Recent investments in large construction projects and oil and gas extraction make the Construction, Oil and Gas, Forestry and Fishing industries the major employers in the Northeast region.

Industries with Most Job Openings: 2019-2029 (Northeast)

Industry

Employment (2019) 

Employment Growth Rate
(Avg. Annual  %)

Expansion

Replacement

Total

Construction

6,400

2.8%

2,090

1,420

3,520

Other retail trade (excluding cars and personal care)

3,400

2.3%

890

580

1,480

Repair, personal and non-profit services

2,530

2.5%

740

490

1,220

Oil and gas extraction

1,210

2.6%

370

280

650

Truck transportation

1,830

2.1%

440

480

920

Food services and drinking places

1,940

1.8%

390

250

640

Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction

1,430

3.9%

690

360

1,050

Business, building and other support services

1,170

2.5%

340

280

620

Ambulatory health care services

1,110

2.60%

330

210

540

Occupations with Most Job Openings: 2019-2029 (Northeast)

OCCUPATION NOC EMPLOYMENT
2019
EXPANSION
2019-2029

REPLACEMENT
JOB

JOB OPENINGS
2019-2029
Typical Education Background: Degree
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses 3012 710 120 120 240
Elementary school and kindergarten teachers 4032 770 20 170 190
Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety 2263 270 70 60 140
Managers in natural resources production and fishing 0811 230 50 80 130
Senior managers – construction, transportation, production and utilities 0016 130 40 50 90
Purchasing agents and officers 1225 190 30 60 90
Financial auditors and accountants 1111 180 40 40 80
 
Typical Education Background: Diploma/Certificate
Retail and wholesale trade managers 0621 1,040 270 240 510
Accounting technicians and bookkeepers 1311 760 220 190 410
Administrative officers 1221 620 170 190 360
Heavy equipment operators (except crane) 7521 680 190 170 360
Carpenters 7271 670 210 120 320
Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers 7321 700 180 130 310
General office support workers 1411 680 150 150 310
Administrative assistants 1241 580 150 140 290
Central control and process operators, petroleum, gas and chemical processing  9232 520 170 90 260
Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics 7311 520 120 140 260
Transport truck drivers 7511 1,670 440 430 870
Retail salespersons 6421 1,400 340 200 540
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents 6733 840 180 210 390
Construction trades helpers and labourers 7611 670 220 110 320
Light duty cleaners 6731 600 120 110 230
 
Typical Education Background: High School
Transport truck drivers 7511 1,670 440 430 870
Retail salespersons 6421 1,400 340 200 540
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents 6733 840 180 210 390
Construction trades helpers and labourers 7611 670 220 110 320
Light duty cleaners 6731 600 120 110 230

Source: BC Labour Market Outlook 2019 Edition

 

Dawson Creek Employment Profile

Unemployment Rate Comparison (%)

3-month moving average, seasonally unadjusted:

 

Average / Median Income

  Individuals
(population aged 15 years and over)
Households

Tax Year Average ($) Median ($) Average ($) Median ($)
2005 34,633 26,856 62,253 50,848
2010 40,735 33,490 73,312 58,416
2015 50,079 40,242 90,925 79,061

Source: Statistics Canada

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