Victoria identified as B.C.'s biggest loser in annual employment ranking
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
Published December 6, 2018
The City of Victoria’s 2019 employment outlook is in a literal free fall when juxtaposed to the job market of 2018, according to a high-profile annual employment ranking of B.C. cities.
BCBusiness magazine’s fifth annual ‘Best Cities for Work in B.C.’ exposé paints a less than rosy picture of the Garden City which saw its #7 spot of 2018 drop a staggering 29 places to #36 while clinching top honours as the biggest loser.
When compared to 45 other regions in the province over such factors as household spending on recreation, average household income for individuals under 35-years-old and income growth potential, the City of Victoria ranked only ahead of Campbell River and Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, with the former landing at 44 heading into 2019 and 24 a year ago, and the latter displaced to 46 from 35.
The magazine does admit, however, that a contributing factor to Victoria’s decline was a de-coupling of the city-proper from the entirety of the south Island’s Capital Region in order to place a greater focus on the municipality itself.
Although ‘Victoria’ formerly included the Capital Region as a whole, the new list only identifies Saanich and Sidney as separate entities in addition to the City of Victoria, leaving 10 south Island municipalities out of the ranking. As noted in the list’s accompanying article, the new ranking filters out “the region’s higher-income bedroom communities.” In other words, without employment prospects in Oak Bay, Langford and Central Saanich the standalone city centre suffered.
Nevertheless, the City of Victoria’s nearest job markets, Sidney and Saanich, fared significantly better in their inaugural appearance at spots 22 and 23, respectively, behind Parksville, Nanaimo and Courtney.
Overall the key issues plaguing the inner core's of the province’s two largest urban centres remain housing affordability and a high cost of living. Those factors weighed on both Victoria and Vancouver (falling from #9 to #31) but their suburbs fared relatively better.
As far as the best job markets according to BCBusiness, the Sea-to-Sky corridor’s communities of Squamish and Whistler struck gold and silver and North Vancouver took home the bronze. Rounding out the top-5 were the Township of Langley (not to be confused with the City of Langley which came in at #7 [Victoria’s old spot]) and Kelowna.
On Vancouver Island top honours went to Parksville (#13) and the worst showing on both the Island and on the list was Port Alberni (#46). C
Below is the full list of communities on Vancouver Island that were included in BCBusiness’ 2019 outlook with last year’s ranking in italics (where applicable):
13 Parksville 23
15 Nanaimo 18
21 Courtenay 22
22 Sidney -
23 Saanich -
34 Duncan/North Cowichan 30
35 Comox -
36 Victoria 7
44 Campbell River 24
46 Port Alberni 35
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