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Empowering British Columbians to make informed career decisions

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The Outlook, which enables informed planning and career decisions, projects 917,000 job openings in the next decade. Replacing British Columbian retirees will be the source of 70% of the upcoming job openings, with the other 30% coming from economic growth.

Education and skills training continue to be vital factors when finding a job. Consistent with the last edition of the Outlook, about eight out of 10 jobs will require some post-secondary education or training. Of these, 42% will require a diploma, certificate or apprenticeship training, while 36% will require a bachelor’s, graduate or first professional degree and/or significant work experience.

“Education and skills training creates transformative opportunities,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Our government is working hard to ensure everyone has a chance to thrive and succeed by making post-secondary education more accessible and affordable. We will continue to put British Columbians at the heart of our decision making so that everyone can share the prosperity of our strong, sustainable and innovative economy. From tech to trades, to health care and business – we need it all.”

Students, parents and those looking for a new career should use the Outlook to inform their career and education decisions. Educators, small businesses and industry can use it in their planning. Government will use it to make informed decisions about new services, investments and projects.

Learn More:

For the 2017 edition of the B.C. Labour Market Outlook, visit:

For information on high-demand occupations, visit:

Supplementary reports providing more industry detail are available: (

To access forecast data for all 500 occupations, industries and regions, go to:

For a broader look at employment, hiring and training opportunities, visit: (

To share your input on the Outlook, email: (

A backgrounder follows.


Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
Meaghan Thorkelson, Public Affairs Officer
250 356-2277


How is the forecast generated?

  • The Outlook uses the most current data from various sources, including Statistics Canada, the B.C. Ministry of Finance, BC Stats, and businesses, educators and unions throughout the province.
  • The Outlook produces a list of high-demand occupations, based on several criteria that balances projected employment opportunities with current and projected trends in excess supply and unemployment.
  • The forecast assumes that people will continue to become educated, poverty will decrease, immigration will continue, and other factors will remain stable.

Which industries will have the most job openings?

  • There will be job openings in B.C. across various industries.
  • The 10 industry groups with the most job openings in the next decade, ranked in descending order, are:
  1. Health care and social assistance
  2. Professional, scientific and technical services
  3. Retail trade
  4. Accommodation and food services
  5. Transportation and warehousing
  6. Educational services
  7. Construction
  8. Information, culture and recreation
  9. Finance, insurance and real estate
  10. Manufacturing

Which regions of B.C. will have the most jobs?

  • The Outlook projects thousands of job openings in every region.
  • The regions with the largest number of job openings are Mainland/Southwest (66%) and Vancouver Island/Coast (15%).
  • Specifically, the job openings are distributed between regions as follows:
  1. Vancouver Island/Coast: 133,800 job openings
  2. Mainland/Southwest: 608,500 job openings
  3. Thompson-Okanagan: 96,100 job openings
  4. Kootenay: 24,600 job openings
  5. Cariboo: 25,900 job openings
  6. Northeast: 16,400 job openings
  7. North Coast and Nechako: 11,700 job openings

What occupations will be in high demand?

There will be job openings in B.C. across all 500 occupations.

For example, 11% of the job openings over the next decade will be trades occupations, and 9% will be in science and technology.

The Outlook produces a list of high-demand occupations, broken down by the category of education/training that is required for the position.

These occupations are considered to be the best job opportunities for British Columbians in the next decade.

The three occupations with the most job openings in each category are:


1. Retail and wholesale trade managers

2. Restaurant and food service managers

3. Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers


1. Financial auditors and accountants

2. Information systems analysts and consultants

3. Computer programmers and interactive media developers


1. Administrative officers

2. Administrative assistants

3. Social and community service workers

High school/on-the-job-training:

1. Retail salespersons

2. General office support workers

3. Receptionists


1. Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

2. Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates

3. General practitioners and family physicians


Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
Meaghan Thorkelson
Public Affairs Officer
250 356-2277

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: