Employment continues to rebound, but recovery varies across sectors

Metro Vancouver’s employment has almost recovered to pre-COVID levels; our employment index shows 99.2 in May 2021 (base month = February 2020). Since last November, Vancouver’s unemployment rate held steady between 7-8% and remains the lowest among Canada’s four largest cities.

However, proprietary data shows that the municipality of Vancouver’s employment has yet to recover 21,000 jobs lost due to COVID, and that recovery has not been equal across sectors. This concludes the Statistics Canada pilot for municipal-level data, so don’t miss out on the latest (and last) set of data!
Read the June 2021 Report

Vancouver Employment


Real GDP* Growth

Metro Vancouver’s real GDP fell by an estimated 4.0% in 2020 but is forecast to rebound by 4.9% in 2021. The Vancouver region fared better when compared to the wider provincial performance (-3.8% in 2020) but is predicted to rebound slower than the national rate of 5.8%.

Vancouver, BC and Canada

Business Numbers

Metro Vancouver businesses continue to bounce back from COVID-19. The region gradually gained businesses since June 2020, climbing back to 80,620 businesses in February 2021 – above pre-COVID levels of 79,535 continuing businesses in February 2020.

Metro Vancouver

Capital Investment

In Q1 2021, Vancouver saw 17 deals representing $203 million in investment, ranking third behind Toronto and Montréal for deal flow. The largest exit this quarter in Canada was Vancouver-based financial company Fraction Technologies (later-stage, $289 million).

Total Venture Capital Deals Q1, 2021

Economic Metrics

As one of North America’s fastest-growing low-carbon economies, Vancouver’s economy was performing exceptionally well before the global pandemic. Vancouver’s recent economic growth has been largely driven by a few key sectors – construction, technology, digital entertainment and the green economy – and has done so by becoming a model for sustainable green growth. As we look beyond GDP in measuring economic recovery, here are a few examples of the key metrics that we actively track in the pursuit of a diverse, resilient economy that helps deliver prosperity for all.

6.6%Office Vacancy RateUp 0.4% from Q1 2021CBRE, Q2 2021
$1.7BHigh Impact InvestmentFacilitated by VECVEC, 2020
Top 25Startup EcosystemIn the WorldStartup Genome, 2020
1 in 15Jobs is a Green JobUp 35% from 2010 – 2017VEC, 2019
#1VFX & Animation HubIn the World, 2020VEC, 2020
#3Film & TV Production HubLargest in North America, 2019VEC, 2020
#1Large Americas Cities of the Future2021 – 2022, Top 10, OverallFDI Intelligence
+0.4%Average Weekly EarningsY-on-Y in B.C.Statistics Canada, April 2021
#1City for COVID economic recoveryIn CanadaVEC, 2021
$203MVenture Capitalto Vancouver Companies,
YTD Q1 2021
CVCA, Q1 2021
  • Your suggestions may help influence the data and metrics featured on this page.

Local Economic Drivers

Building a resilient economy requires a commitment to assessing all decision-making against global trends, risks and opportunities