BC Jobs Plan puts British Columbians first

Courtesy of Flickr/ Government of BC

Courtesy of Flickr/ Government of BC

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond and Parliamentary Secretary Greg Kyllo today gave an update on British Columbia’s economic progress since the BC Jobs Plan release in 2011 and a preview of where the jobs plan is headed in the five-year update later this fall.

Since the launch of the BC Jobs Plan in 2011, British Columbia went from fourth in economic growth to first today, expanding by three per cent ($6 billion) in 2015. British Columbia is also expected to lead the country again in the next two years.

“The Jobs Plan has helped strengthen B.C.’s diversified economy, allowing our province to lead the nation in job creation and economic growth. As our economy continues to grow, the jobs plan will work to ensure British Columbians are first in line for our province’s future opportunities,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.

While month-to-month numbers vary, job growth and unemployment are also moving in the same direction. The province went from ninth in job growth to leading the country with the highest job creation record in Canada of 7.9 per cent. British Columbia now has record employment with over 2.3 million British Columbians working and has added over 176,000 jobs since 2011.

Of the jobs created, over 80 per cent are full-time and 80 per cent in the private sector. In addition, British Columbia went from having the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in Canada to currently having the lowest unemployment rate at 5.6 per cent.

“While progress has slowed in much of the rest of Canada, B.C. is leading the country in economic growth. The BC Jobs Plan has achieved and surpassed much of what it set out to do: enable job creation, expand markets for B.C.’s goods and services and strengthen B.C.’s infrastructure to facilitate the movement of goods to market. Government has committed to reducing red tape and other barriers for our key sectors, allowing B.C. companies to reach their full potential,” said Greg Kyllo, Parliamentary Secretary for the BC Jobs Plan.

The Province has achieved 15 of the 19 ambitious targets set out in 2011 BC Jobs Plan. Bond and Kyllo announced that moving forward, British Columbia will have a renewed focus on the key sectors that make up the backbone of the jobs plan, including agrifoods, forestry, international education, mining and energy, natural gas, technology and green economy, tourism and transportation, as well as the four key cross-sectors: Aboriginal Peoples and First Nations, international trade and investment, manufacturing and small business.

Bond and Kyllo also highlighted four new sectors where British Columbia will see immense growth opportunities: clean tech, life sciences, digital media, advanced manufacturing. These sectors are expected to see major growth in the coming years, creating sustainable, long-term, high-paying jobs for British Columbia’s next generation.

British Columbia’s small- and medium-sized businesses are key to the strength and growth of the province’s economic record. Bond and Kyllo presented two companies, Atomic Cartoons and Conquer Mobile, with BC Job Makers awards as part of today’s announcement. BC Job Makers is a celebration of the entrepreneurs and innovators who create jobs, train apprentices, contribute positively to the diverse British Columbia economy and inspire others to do the same.

“Vancouver is a wonderful place to build our business. We are able to work with local post-secondary schools to recruit educated students that have the exact skills we need them to have to keep our company competitive and successful,” said Jennifer McCaron, president, Atomic Cartoons.

The BC Jobs Plan was launched five years ago to diversify and grow British Columbia’s economy and support long-term job creation in the province. British Columbians are now seeing the benefits of this effort: British Columbia’s economy is diverse, strong and growing.

“British Columbia is full of highly skilled individuals that we’ve been able to build a professional network with. These relationships have helped us build up our company, capitalize on opportunity for expansion and create more tech jobs,” said Dave Foster, chief operating officer, Conquer Mobile.

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