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BUSINESSES NEED PEOPLE: Finding Employees in Greater Victoria

Christine Willow

By Christine Willow, Chemistry Consulting Strong, vibrant industries and an aging labour pool in Greater Victoria make for a challenging situation for local businesses when it comes to finding employees, especially employees with the right skills. Victoria continues to have the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, in large part driven by thriving and growing industries such as tourism, construction, information technology/technology, and professional services. When you also consider the high cost of living in Greater Victoria, employers are faced with a ‘perfect storm’ in terms of recruitment challenges. So, while some industries—like tourism— will continue to grow this year, without access to a skilled labour force most businesses will struggle

to achieve a positive outcome overall. We know there are people unemployed and looking for work in our communities, yet many businesses are still dealing with recruitment, retention, and skills challenges. Let’s look at the numbers. Victoria’s unemployment rate continues to remain the lowest in the country at 5.0 percent and was as low as 4.7 percent in the fall of 2016. Economists consider the ‘full employment rate’ to be between 3 percent and 5 percent, considering

that approximately 2 percent will be moving between jobs or not be ready for employment at any given time. The Indeed Job website currently has over 2,400 job postings for Victoria, and Used Victoria lists over 2,000, with the majority being full-time jobs. Many of the sectors seeking employees are ones where the work is not easily automated. Furthermore, employers reported that finding workers with the right skills was the highest reason for difficulties when recruiting.

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Profile for Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

March Business Matters 2017  

March Business Matters 2017