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.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1184822

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Page 32 of 71

ISTOCK DECEMBER/JANUARY 2020 BCBUSINESS 33 positive," he says. "The port doesn't create a lot of jobs, but it does create good jobs for locals." Over the next few years, Prince Rupert stands to further benefit as the $40-billion LNG Canada project in nearby Kitimat ramps up. Vancouver Island is another bright spot, with Victoria, Saanich, Sidney, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Courtenay, Comox and Campbell River rising a collective 58 places. After last year's drastic decline, Victoria vaulted ahead 17 positions, mostly thanks to its province-leading low unemployment rates supporting solid wage growth. A moderating housing market has also taken the edge off high prices in the capital, which anchors the most expensive metropolitan area outside the Lower Mainland. The Central Island has fared particularly well over the past year, with reasonably priced housing and robust home construction in communities such as Courtenay and Parksville. Nanaimo, bolstered by strong population growth, leads the pack at No. 8, up seven places. Communities in the Fraser Valley also dis- tinguished themselves on this year's list, with Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission leaping ahead 15, nine and eight spots, respectively, largely propelled by growing populations. Average household income (maximum score of 10 points) This figure represents the average for 2019. To estab- lish a score out of 10, we gave the top average income 10 points and measured the other cities in proportion to that. Average household income under 35 (10 points) The key number here is 2019 average household income for primary income earners under the age of 35. Again, we gave the top average 10 points and scored the other cities in relation to that. Five-year average household income growth (15 points) This number represents the percentage income growth from 2014 to 2019. Assuming a floor of zero, the top value received 15 points, with the other cities scoring accordingly. Average household spending on recreation (10 points) For this indicator, we mea- sured household spending on all leisure activities tracked by Statistics Canada, from concerts and sporting events to recreational vehicles and home entertainment systems. Giving the city with the highest average recreation spending a 10, we evaluated the others in relation to it. Average shelter spend- ing (10 points) Here we're talking about recurrent housing-related living expenses, such as mortgage payments, rent and utilities, for 2019. The city with the lowest average shel- ter spending received a score of 10, with the others scoring in inverse proportion. Average value of primary real estate (5 points) This value measures the average price of primary real estate (i.e., not including secondary or recreational properties). We gave the low- est value 10 points and scored the other cities in inverse proportion to that. Average commute time (10 points) For all members of the employed labour force aged 15 years and over, this indicator provides the average one-way commute time, in minutes. The city with the lowest average duration received a score of 10, with the others scoring in relation to that. Five-year population growth (10 points) This figure represents the proportional population growth of each city from 2014 to 2019. We limited the floor to zero and scored cities out of a maximum value of 10. Housing starts per 10,000 residents (10 points) We derived this value from the year-to-date housing starts from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.'s monthly Starts and Completions Survey to the end of Sep- tember 2019. Housing starts are divided by the total city population and multiplied by 10,000 to give the number of housing starts per 10,000 residents. The city with the highest number of housing starts per 10,000 residents received a score of 10, with the other cities scoring in relation to that. Unemployment rate (10 points) The unemployment rates cited are from Statcan's Labour Force Survey for September 2019. We gave the lowest rate 10 points and evaluated the others in rela- tion to that. • How We Crunched the Numbers T o determine the Best Cities for Work in B.C., we examined 10 economic indicators with weightings ranging from 5 to 15 percent. Unchanged from last year, these include so- called lagging economic indicators, such as income growth, as well as more forward-looking, or leading, indicators like housing starts. Each city received a score out of a total of 100 points and is ranked accordingly. VANCOUVER ISLAND IS A BRIGHT SPOT, WITH VICTORIA, SAANICH, SIDNEY, NANAIMO, PORT ALBERNI, COURTENAY, COMOX AND CAMP- BELL RIVER RISING A COLLECTIVE 58 PLACES WE THE NORTH Both the district and city of North Vancouver made a strong showing

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