Metro Vancouver has fully recovered every job lost due to COVID

As of September 2021, employment in the Vancouver region has recovered (in absolute terms) to pre-COVID levels. Some jobs have migrated sectors; retail & hospitality are still recovering, while other sectors – such as tech and construction – have gained jobs.

Employment levels have gradually recovered from the pandemic in Canada’s four largest cities. Our employment index (base month – February 2020) shows employment in Metro Vancouver reached 101.3 in September 2021, finally surpassing pre-pandemic levels, and is the highest nationally.

Exclusive new data from VEC shows green jobs continue to trend up. Our Fall 2021 Economy Report features an exclusive first look at Vancouver’s performance in green jobs growth and city-level GHG emissions over the past ten years.
Read the Fall 2021 Report

Vancouver Employment


Real GDP* Growth

Metro Vancouver’s real GDP is estimated to rebound by 6.8% in 2021 and forecast to increase by 4.1% in 2022. The Vancouver region fared better during the pandemic in 2020 (-4.1%) compared to other Canadian metropolitan cities and is predicted to rebound faster than the provincial and national real GDP growth rates of 5.8% and 5.1%, respectively.

Vancouver, BC and Canada

Business Numbers

Metro Vancouver businesses continue to bounce back from COVID-19. The region gradually gained businesses by one percent each month since June 2020, climbing back to 82,827 businesses in June 2021 – above pre-COVID levels of 80,209 continuing businesses in February 2020.

Metro Vancouver

Capital Investment

In the first half of 2021 (H1 2021), Vancouver saw 45 deals representing $808 million in investment – double the activity and more than triple the VC of H2 2020 (22 deals and $268 million). Notable deals included an exit by Vancouver-based startup Trulioo ($476 million, growth stage) – ranked the 2nd largest deal in Canada.

Total Venture Capital Deals H1, 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.

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
  • 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