Black Press Community News Media is once again hosting its annual education and career fair in the Comox Valley. The fair will be Thursday, Feb. 8. (BLACK PRESS file photo)

Vancouver Island job market ever-evolving

Various sectors driving employment in region will be represented at Black Press career fair in Comox Feb. 8

Central and north Island economic sectors continue their evolution as world trade conditions affect the local economy and people migrate to the region.

Market and political volatility over oil and natural gas production and delivery have all but dashed glowing predictions from just two years ago of a promising new industry with jobs and economic benefits for all of B.C., the Island included.

But other economic drivers continue to buoy the Island’s economy as people migrate here from across Canada and around the world. In fact immigration – the majority of which is from other provinces, followed by migration from within B.C. and lastly from foreign countries – has been a primary reason for Island economic growth, according to Nanaimo Economic Development.

Population gains boost economic trade between trade regions, enhance the consumer base for business and expand the skilled workforce needed to attract new businesses.

Nanaimo and the central and north Island’s other major economic trade regions have had steady population growth over the past decade. Nanaimo’s population, according to Statistics Canada’s 2016 census, gained eight per cent over 2011 census figures. Nanaimo’s trade area, which includes the Nanaimo Regional District and the town of Ladysmith to the south, now comprises more than 164,200 people, representing 6.3 per cent growth from 2011 to 2016.

The Alberni-Clayoquot and Comox Strathcona regions trade area grew 3.1 per cent for the same period to more than 142,000 people and the combined populations of the central and north Island trade areas – which include the remainder of the Cowichan Regional District and the Regional District of Mount Waddington on the north Island – rose 4.3 per cent to more than 86,000 people.

RELATED: Black Press hosts annual career and education fair

Immigration and real estate investment has spurred a recent boom in residential and commercial construction, a major private-sector employment driver.

Retail trade, construction, accommodation and food services, educational services and professional, scientific and technical fields rank in the top six of the top 10 employment sectors in the Nanaimo region, figures that translate throughout the north and central Island’s major population centres, Courtenay-Comox, Nanaimo, Port Alberni and the Cowichan Regional District municipalities, but employment sectors have shifted in the past five years. Health care and social assistance now accounts for 15.1 per cent of all employment in the Vancouver Island Coast Region and is now the region’s largest employment sector, according to Statistics Canada, and the professional scientific and technical trade sector continues its steady climb on the employment as the Island economy continues to expand and diversity.

“If you looked five or six, seven years ago, the health care and social assistance sector used to be fifth or sixth and it didn’t really even make it to the top five in the last decade, whereas now it’s No. 1,” said Amrit Manhas, Nanaimo Economic Development. “Construction and real estate – that and retail – they’ve always been big for the central Vancouver Island and north Island and really the health care and social assistance is huge.”

The Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair will be at 19 Wing Air Force Base in the Comox Valley on Thursday, Feb. 8. The event will take place at the CFB Comox Military Family Resource Centre from 12-6 p.m.

For more information about exhibitors and a schedule of events, keep reading your local Black Press publication, and follow them on Facebook.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Port Alice gets two RCMP officers stationed in the village

“The second Port Alice RCMP position has been filled”

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

New look and feel on the horizon for Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

“We are hoping between now and then to do another fundraising campaign for acoustics”

North Island Bantam Eagles capture Tier Three banner with win over Powell River Kings

The Eagles next game is Jan. 19 against the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies at 4:00 p.m. in Port McNeill.

Mainroad meets with Regional District of Mount Waddington

“It was really nice to have Mainroad there to give a presentation to the RD”

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

RCMP’s use of force in arrest of Island man not excessive, judge rules

Campbell River man high on cocaine led high speed chase through city’s downtown

Most Read