Labour Market Resources

Reference Sites for Determining Labour Market Demand and Occupational Trends

The Office of University Planning & Analysis can assist faculty with the assessment of labour demand for proposed new programs or provide links to additional online resources. Also see Student Demand for enrolments trends and new program trends.

Local and Regional

Vancouver Island/Coast Regional Outlook

  • The main sources of employment are in the Health Care and Social Assistance, Wholesale and Retail Trade and Construction sectors.
  • Over the 10-year forecast horizon, the Vancouver Island/Coast economic region is expected to have 153,820 job openings, of which 71 percent will replace retiring workers. Employment demand is projected to increase by an annual average of 1.1 percent, at the same pace as the provincial average.
  • Employment in the region remains heavily weighted toward services-based employment and this is reflected in the top 10 industries with forecast job openings through 2028:
  • Top 10 industries on Vancouver Island/Coast with forecast job openings through 2028


  • BC Career Profiles - search over 500 career options and get details on duties to projected demand.
  • BC Major Projects Inventory - search construction trends and current economic activities.

Industry News

  • go2HR - provides research, reports and statistics that exists for the tourism and hospitality industry in BC.
  • BuildForce Canada provides labour market forecast reports Construction and Maintenance occupations from 2019 to 2028.

Provincial Priorities

National and International

Competencies and Essential Skills

  1. The Government of Canada has identified 9 Essential Skills that are required in order to perform effectively in the workplace. They are used in varying degrees in every job and at different levels of complexity. They are considered to be the foundational skills for learning all other skills that enable people to advance in their careers and adapt to changes in the workplace.

  2. The BC ITA Essential Skills website can also help workers who want to improve their essential skills, especially those interested in the trades.

  3. Skills for Success: Developing Skills for a Prosperous BC - the Conference Board of Canada conducted a survey of 854 B.C. employers—covering over 130,000 employees to determine which skills, occupations, and credentials are required by employers to meet current and future needs.

  4. Building Skills Connection Series. A new report from the Conference Board of Canada that found in-demand jobs in Alberta will require new skill sets such as creative/problem-solving skills, digital skills, skills related to international collaboration, and social/human skills.

  5. 2016 survey by the Business Council of Canada found that the top three most important competencies for mid-level hires were non-technical: leadership, people/relationship, and collaboration/teamwork.

  6. 2018 RBC report found that Canadian youth entering the workforce over the next decade are going to need a foundation of skills that sets them up for many different jobs and roles rather than a single career path. They will need a portfolio of human skills such as critical thinking, social perceptiveness, and complex problem solving to remain competitive and resilient in the labour market. The report also concluded that Digital fluency will be essential to all new jobs.

  7. A new report, “Robot-Ready: Human+ Skills for the Future of Work” and the companion report, "The Real, Long-term Labor Market Outcomes of Liberal Arts Grads" by Strada Institute for the Future of Work & Emsi.

  8. Brookfield Institute released a new report, "Turn and Face the Strange: Changes impacting the future of employment in Canada" which identifies a range of trends that will determine what skills are in demand, including trends in 1. Mandatory creativity 2. Wildfires, floods, and mudslides 3. Digital detox 4. 3D printing 5. Worklife integration 6. Climate refugees and 7. Lifelong learning.

  9. Brookfield Institute recently released a new report, "Signs of the Times: Expert insights about employment in 2030" which lists dark web detective, cannabis sommelier, and therapist hairdresser as some of the professions that could exist by 2030.

  10. 21 million new jobs will be created by 2030. Here’s how your curriculum should respond.

  11. Digital and soft skills in a new economy by Brookfield Institute and Burning Glass Technologies

  12. Work-Ready Graduates: The Role of Co-op Programs in Labour Market Success (CD Howe Institute). 

    Participating in school/work co-op programs is linked to higher incomes and a higher likelihood of success in the labour market after graduation, but some get more benefits than others, according to this report.

Labour Market Trends by Faculty


Labour Trends

Arts and Humanities
Science & Technology
Social Sciences
Trades and Technology

Automation and the Future of Jobs

1. Automation Potential of the BC Workforce by the Business Council of BC

Excerpt: 'Automation of the Workforce' -- About 42% of B.C. jobs are in occupations where there is significant potential for automation in the next 20 years, based on technical considerations. More than half of B.C. jobs are "sales and service," "business, finance and administration" and "trades, transport and equipment operators" occupations that, on average, face a high probability of eventual automation.

2. The Talented Mr. Robot: The Impact of Automation on Canada’s Workforce by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) at Ryerson University. The report analyzes automation and how it will directly affect the Canadian labour market over the next 10 to 20 years.

Top Five High Risk Occupations of being affected by automation with the most employees are:

  • Retail sales persons, 92% probability of automation and more than 656,000 employees;
  • Administrative assistants, 96% probability of automation and nearly 329,000 employees;
  • Food counter attendants and kitchen and kitchen helpers, 91.5% probability of automation and nearly 313,000 employees;
  • Cashiers, 97% probability of automation and nearly 309,000 employees; and,
  • Transport truck drivers, 79% probability of automation and nearly 262,000 employees.

Top Five Low Risk Occupations of being affected by automation with the most employees are:

  • Retail and wholesale trade managers, 20.5% probability of automation and more than 363,000 employees;
  • Registered nurses (psychiatric included), 0.9% probability of automation and more than 291,000 employees;
  • Elementary and kindergarten teachers, 0.4% probability of automation and more than 271,000 employees;
  • Early childhood educators and assistants, 0.7% probability of automation and nearly 188,000 employees; and,
  • Secondary school teachers, 0.8% probability of automation and nearly 174,000 employees.

3. Where machines could replace humans — and where they can’t (yet) by the consulting firm McKinsey and Company.

  • The hardest activities to automate with currently available technologies are those that involve managing and developing people (9 percent automation potential) or that apply expertise to decision making, planning, or creative work (18 percent).
  • Overall, healthcare has a technical potential for automation of about 36 percent, but the potential is lower for health professionals whose daily activities require expertise and direct contact with patients.
  • Of all the sectors examined, the technical feasibility of automation is lowest in education, at least for now.
  • Could a machine do your job? Find out on Tableau Public

4. Technology, jobs, and the future of work by McKinsey and Company reports that “about 60 per cent of all occupations have at least 30 per cent of activities that are technically automatable. This means that most occupations will change, and more people will have to work with technology.” 

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