Metro Vancouver employment fully recovered in absolute terms

Total employment increased steadily from June 2020 through to the end of 2021, with a small decline at the beginning of 2022. This dip is attributable to the severe floods in the region and continued global supply chain challenges.

Vancouver has largely overcome the “She-Cession” many cities experienced in the last two years. Our employment index (base month – February 2022) shows female employment in Metro Vancouver fully recovered as of June 2021 and has now exceeded pre-COVID levels of employment (106 in January 2022).

VEC is a long-time advocate of de-emphasizing GDP’s role in measuring prosperity. The research team is proud to debut progressive economic, social and environmental metrics in our latest report, which features insights on air quality, median income and social inclusion.
Read the Spring 2022 Report

Vancouver Employment


Real GDP* Growth

Metro Vancouver’s real GDP is estimated to rebound by 6.8% in 2021 and forecast to hit 4.1% in 2022. The Vancouver region fared better during the pandemic in 2020 (-3.9%) compared to other Canadian metropolitan cities and is predicted to rebound slightly slower than the provincial and national real GDP growth rates of 4.2% and 4.3%, respectively.

Vancouver, BC and Canada

Business Numbers

Metro Vancouver businesses – with some exceptions – continue to bounce back from COVID-19. Continuing businesses dramatically declined by 14% in June 2022 but has climbed back to 82,659 in October 2021, 2.9% above pre-COVID levels of 80,335 businesses in February 2020.

Metro Vancouver

Unemployment Indexes

Metro Vancouver’s unemployment index reached 132.1 in January 2022 and has continued to decrease since Summer 2020 but is still not yet back to pre-pandemic levels. This shows that despite the overall healthy employment rate, there are still too many people in Vancouver without a job (or are part of the ‘Great Resignation’).

Unemployment Index

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.

7.6%Office Vacancy RateUp 1 p.p from Q2 2021CBRE, Q3 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
+4%Average Weekly EarningsY-on-Y in B.C.Statistics Canada, Sept 2021
#1City for COVID economic recoveryIn CanadaVEC, 2021
$808MVenture Capitalto Vancouver Companies,
H1 2021
CVCA, H1 2021
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Local Economic Drivers

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