Job prospects brightening in Capital Region

Construction, finance, insurance and real estate operators top areas to find jobs in coming months

Mike Milner helps Mountain Equipment Co-op member Nick Rabbit choose a backpack at the store on Government Street. The retail sector is among those that are expected to experience growth in the early spring.

Jobs in construction, wholesale and retail and the finance, insurance and real estate sectors will be the top areas to find a job in Greater Victoria this spring.

That’s according to a quarterly report released Tuesday by employment services company Manpower Inc.

“We’ve seen more companies hiring permanent jobs and temporary positions, so it looks like it’s getting a little bit better for people out there getting jobs,” said Jeff Polkinghorne, branch manager for Manpower Vancouver.

Seventeen per cent of employers in Victoria said they planned to hire new staff between April and June, up from seven per cent last quarter.

The survey predicts a 34-per-cent increase in employment for the construction industry, 18 per cent for finance, insurance and real estate, and a 21 per  cent in the wholesale and retail sector.

However, this increase in hiring trends for the Capital Region is lower than last year’s rate of 30 per cent.

“It’s actually gone down year over year but it’s still building up for the year so far,” Polkinghorne said.

Increases in employment in Victoria have recently become more common for certain sectors, according to Sasha Angus, economic development officer for the Greater Victoria Development Agency.

He noted that jobs in the technology, building and service sectors are in demand.

“We’re getting back to a position (to hire) for a number of the industries, like the tech sector, where we’re finding talent is becoming a key priority for a lot of the businesses,” he said. “So they’re doing everything they can to identify the folks and bring them on board.”

Angus attributes employment increases in the construction sector to large amounts of work being done overseas and changes in the HST policy.

“A lot of the companies that we have here locally, they do some work locally, (but) they do a lot of business internationally,” he said.

“So as we start to see improvements in the United States, as we start to see new opportunities in China and Asia, (local companies) need the people to do that work.”

Sarah-Jane Chilton, manager of Mountain Equipment Co-op on Government Street, was surprised to hear about the supposed increase in staffing of the retail industry.

“I don’t think anyone’s business is booming,” she said. “We’re up (in business) but not a significant amount, not more than we usually are from year to year.”

While MEC is currently seeking workers for the summer months, Chilton said they will not be hiring more people than normal.

“Usually for the spring we will hire between 16 to 20 people and that’s pretty average,” she said. “It’s been the same sort of number for the last two to three years.”

Angus doesn’t believe the growing demand for employees is necessarily seasonal.

“In the tourism sector there may be a bit of seasonality as the new tourism season approaches, but for some of the companies it’s just increases in new business that are driving this demand,” he said.

Victoria is sitting in the middle of the pack nationally for hiring, close to Vancouver which is at 19 per cent, Polkinghorne said. Richmond-Delta is the highest at 32 per cent.

reporter@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Sentencing delayed for man who attacked VicPD dog

Uno later recovered from his injury and returned to work

Police ask for public’s help in locating Johnny Sam

Sam was last seen on April 17 in Esquimalt

Eco warriors to shut down Douglas Street on Earth Day

Environmentalists to call on banks to divert investments into green infrastructure

Fire damage to Esquimalt building leaves some tenants out for at least six months

Structural damage has barred half of the tenants from returning, while others might move back sooner

Plans to clear-cut old-growth near Port Renfrew causes an environmental outcry

Groups call logging a provincial government ‘blind spot’

It was no Kentucky Derby: B.C. girls host foot-long snail race

Two Grade 3 students in White Rock put four snails to the test in a hotly-contested street race

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Inquest into Port Hardy police shooting moved to Campbell River

Family disappointed James Hayward coroner’s inquest rescheduled hours away

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Three climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

One of the men is American and the other two are from Europe, according to officials

Most Read