The latest labour market intelligence report released by the Surrey Board of Trade for January indicates the construction sector continues to lag in job recovery, down by 8,347 jobs since the pandemic began.
“Health care, natural resources, public administration, and tech sectors are leading Surrey’s job recovery,” Anita Huberman, CEO of the board, said. “The single largest percentage growth in terms of occupational categories has been in natural resources positions at 68.6 per cent. Many British Columbians do not realize the extent to which non-agriculture resource companies are prevalent in Surrey and how these impact employment in other sectors.”
Seven of 15 industry categories in Surrey have employment levels below February 2020 and those sectors most impacted other than construction (down by 25.6 per cent) are accommodation and food services (down 10.6 per cent), and personal services, (high-touch jobs) is down almost 2,000 jobs or by 14.6 per cent.
Utilities lost 618 jobs since the pandemic, representing a 36.7 per cent drop in this relatively small industry in Surrey.
Meantime, sectors in Surrey with the greatest recovery since February 2020 in Surrey are wholesale and retail trade, rebounded with almost 6,400 new jobs for a 12.4 per cent increase and health care and social assistance, up by more than 5,400 jobs or 15.6 per cent.
Employment in public administration employment is up by almost 4,800 jobs or 50.8 per cent in Surrey while manufacturing is up over 2,300 jobs since before the pandemic, marking an increase of 8.7 per cent. The natural resources sector also saw a recovery of 68.8 per cent since February 2020, gaining more than 2,000 jobs.
Meantime Ravi Kahlon, provincial minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation, said in a Feb. 4 press release that despite the pandemic 4,200 jobs were created in B.C. in January.
“Owners of small and medium-sized businesses throughout the province have adapted their practices, innovated and pivoted to keep their workers and customers safe,” the NDP MLA for Delta North added. “As a result, 44,600 more people are now working in the private sector than prior to the pandemic.
Kahlon said 54,700 more people are working in the health care and social-assistance sector than before the pandemic began.
“Through StrongerBC, BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, we are recruiting 7,000 health-care workers, including 3,000 in home and community care, for long-term care homes and assisted-living facilities, to strengthen the health system,” he said.