BC’S ECONOMY HAS SHIFTED FROM RESOURCE-BASED TO SERVICE-BASED
July 23, 2014
CPPNews - VANCOUVER, B.C –
A new report released by CRED, a collection of over 100 BC-based
businesses, reveals that BC’s economy relies more on service-based
sectors than traditional extractive sectors such as oil and gas.
The report ‘What’s fuelling BC’s economy?’ compiles GDP, employment,
and tax data to conclude that BC’s main economic drivers are now based
around services, particularly the knowledge and innovation economy.
“Contrary to what many people may perceive, the oil and gas sector is
actually shrinking in BC. Less than 1 in 100 of our jobs come from oil,
mining and gas, compared with a full 5% of jobs across the province
found in the tourism sector and another nearly 5% in real estate and
property development” noted CRED's Executive Director Liz McDowell.
McDowell also commented, “It’s important that the public has an
accurate understanding of where the oil and gas sector fits into our
economy and how investing in this type of infrastructure development
could impact other thriving sectors. That’s why we’ve compiled and
released this information – we hope it will enrich the conversation
about where BC’s economy is headed”.
“It's misleading to emphasize resource extraction and pipeline
expansion as the drivers of our economy when all data indicates
innovation, technology and tourism generate far more jobs and
contribute more to social spending on things like hospitals and
schools. The benefits are being overblown by pipeline advocates while
the risks are played down or left out altogether" said CRED Advisor and
Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association Executive Director,
The report’s key findings:
•Oil, gas and support services make up just 3% of BC’s
GDP. By comparison, financial and real estate services make the largest
contribution to provincial wealth - more than 23% of GDP. Retail and
wholesale trade make up 10% of GDP, construction makes up 8% and
manufacturing contributes a further 7%.
•Across the province, the mining, oil and gas sector
combined employs 1% of the workforce, or approximately 25,000 people.
BC’s biggest employers are construction, manufacturing, tourism, and
real estate & property development. The high tech sector employs
over 84,000 people– more than forestry, mining, oil & gas, and
•Canada’s oil and gas sector paid 4.2% of total
corporate taxes collected by the federal government in 2011. In the
same year, the financial services sector paid 25% of all corporate
taxes and the manufacturing sector paid 13% of the total.
•In Canada, there are more jobs in the beer sector than in the oil sands.
•In Northern BC the trends are similar: oil, mining and
gas jobs play a fairly small role. In Prince George and the surrounding
Cariboo region, only 5.2% of the population works in primary resources
– fishing, forestry, mining, oil and gas combined. The biggest regional
employers are retail and wholesale trade, health care and manufacturing.
About CRED: Conversations for
Responsible Economic Development is a collection of professionals and
business leaders from the tourism, real estate, tech, health, creative
and other service-based sectors that are committed to participating in
informed dialogue about long-term prosperity on Canada’s west coast.
Its mission is to protect the regional economy from threats to
long-term development, promote industries that build on BC’s
creativity, innovation and natural beauty, and foster conversations
about the types of energy and resource development and transportation
that are compatible with this vision. CRED advisors include
restauranteur Meeru Dhalwala, tech entrepreneur Bradley Shende,
screenwriter Tarah Stafford, North Shore realtor Dallas LaPorta and UBC
economist Dr. Rashid Sumaila.