December 2019 - January 2020 Best Cities for Work in B.C.

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

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Page 28 of 71

BCBUSINESS.CA DECEMBER/JANUARY 2020 BCBUSINESS 29 PUTTING LAST YEAR'S EXPANDED SET OF 46 COMMUNITIES TO THE TEST AGAIN, OUR SIXTH ANNUAL RANKING OF THE PROVINCE'S BEST CITIES FOR WORK HIGHLIGHTS THE CONSISTENCY OF THE TOP ECONOMIC CONTENDERS. WHILE THE 2020 LIST FEATURES ENCOURAGING PERFORMANCES AND FAVOURABLE REVERSALS OF FORTUNE FOR SOME CITIES, IT ALSO PRESENTS LESS HOPEFUL SIGNS FOR OTHERS. THREE EXPERTS IN URBAN ECONOMICS WEIGH IN b y A N D R E W M A C A U L A Y A t first glance, the 2020 Best Cities for Work in B.C. ranking looks much like 2019's, with the Sea-to-Sky Corridor taking the lead again. But given the province's more-subdued economic performance over the past year, our latest list may be as much about underperform- ers as overachievers. "It's more a story of some cold spots than it is about hot spots," says Peter Hall, associate professor of urban studies at SFU. Gloomy signals from the forestry and real estate sectors figure in that assessment. (For our view on what 2020 holds for those industries and the B.C. economy as a whole, see page 49.) At the same time, persistently high housing prices in Metro Vancouver appear to be having a ripple effect, pushing working families to the suburbs and elsewhere. As the Lower Mainland wrestles with the resulting burden on its transportation systems, communities from Vancouver Island to WORK in 2020 where to

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