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Health care, scientific jobs top B.C. employment forecast

While politicians tout falling unemployment rates, the main driver of the B.C. labour market is fewer people entering he workforce to replace those who are retiring.

The B.C. government released its 2018 Labour Market Outlook report Thursday, forecasting 903,000 new job openings in the province over the next decade. Almost 70 per cent of the openings are to replace people scheduled to retire.

The report includes regional breakdowns, calculating that 65 per cent of all job openings are in the Mainland-Southwest region and another 17 per cent in the Vancouver Island-Coast region.

The statistics continue a long-term trend, with more than three quarters requiring some post-secondary training. About 41 per cent will require a diploma, certificate or apprenticeship training, and 36 per cent will need a bachelor’s, graduate or first professional degree.

The forecast shows that young people entering the workforce for the first time can only fill about half of the anticipated openings. Migrants from inside Canada and immigrants from other country are expected to total about 32,000 people entering the B.C. workforce, but that still leaves a gap of about 13,000 people each year.

The top 10 industry groups expecting job openings are:

1. health care and social assistance

2. professional, scientific and technical services

3. retail trade

4. accommodation and food services

5. finance, insurance and real estate

6. information, culture and recreation

7. transportation and warehousing

8. educational services

9. manufacturing

10. construction

The top five occupational groups for the coming decade are:

1. Sales and service (186,1000 openings)

2. Business, finance and administration (151,400 openings)

3. Management (124,400 openings)

4. Trades, transport and equipment operators (106,700 openings)

5. Education, law, social, community and government services (103,200 openings)


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Tom Fletcher

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