EDITORIAL: Bright lights on jobs front

Employment picture in Greater Victoria looking healthy as businesses prepare to head into holiday season

Grim financial pictures continue to be painted around the country and stories of sluggish economic growth are still making headlines.

In Greater Victoria, however, there are plenty of bright spots on the economic horizon.

This summer’s robust tourism season has helped many astute merchants ease into the shoulder months with a little more comfort.

Many retailers start to hire employees for the Christmas season in mid-November, but we expect some to get the early jump on the competition by bringing in staff to get trained up sooner than that.

Job seekers would do well to polish up their resumés now to avoid being shut out during the Christmas rush to fill jobs. Getting a foot in the door that much sooner can only help a good employee solidify their position within a company more quickly.

The summer was not only vibrant and lucrative in the tourism industry and those related to it.

The region also saw its best real estate summer sales figures in five years, helped by flat year-over-year prices and continued low interest rates. More real estate sales means more people frequenting home decor and hardware stores, which in turn need to hire staff to keep up with demand.

Residential and commercial construction continue to be healthy in the region and are predicted by employment expert Manpower Canada to drive much of the healthy hiring climate for the fall.

Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO Bruce Carter, who has his finger on the pulse of business around the region, expects steady hiring to happen into next year. Not only will the shipbuilding industry ramp up further with the upcoming federal government contracts, he says, the tech sector continues to grow in Greater Victoria.

We’d like to believe that with less severe down time in our local economy, we can see more momentum built to help carry us into next year. After all, having more people working helps everyone enjoy a little better quality of life.