BC Jobs Plan failing to deliver: Report

Recommends change in strategy to boost job creation
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 01/09/2014

The BC Jobs Plan is failing to deliver, according to a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), which calls for a more diversified and sustainable approach to job creation.

“The jobs recovery after the 2008-09 recession has been weak across Canada, but B.C.’s is even weaker, and the Jobs Plan hasn’t helped,” said economist and report author Iglika Ivanova. “In fact, we were third to last in terms of job creation in 2013, actually losing jobs while most other provinces saw job growth.”

Key findings of the report BC Jobs Plan Reality Check include:

Two-thirds of jobs created since the Jobs Plan are seasonal or casual positions. B.C. has fewer permanent jobs today than before the recession.

•Only 71 per cent of working-age British Columbians have jobs today, effectively unchanged since the start of the BC Jobs Plan and barely improved since the low point of the recession.

B.C. needs 94,000 more jobs just to return to the province’s pre-recession employ­ment rate (the proportion of working age British Columbians who have jobs). That’s equivalent to the number of jobs created in 2010, 2011 and 2012 combined.

Temporary foreign workers have filled almost one-third of the new jobs created since the recession. The increase in temporary foreign work­ers has been concentrated in areas outside urban centres.

Many rural areas have not seen job growth since the plan.

“The BC Jobs Plan is based on the false assumption that the private sector is the only job creator,” said Ivanova, “and it pins all its hopes on resource exports, particularly liquefied natural gas (LNG).”

However, this approach is failing to deliver, said the report:

The private sector actually lost 12,000 jobs in the first ten months of 2013 (the latest data available). This is rare outside of a recession. In the last 40 years, it has happened only once, in 2001, and many fewer jobs were cut then (2,700).

Just two per cent of British Columbians are directly employed in mining, oil and gas extraction and forestry and logging combined. This sector remains such a small share of the job market that even a doubling or tripling of employment would not make it a major employer in B.C.

The study recommends shifting B.C.’s approach to job creation to a more diversified, less environmentally and economically risky strategy, which would include public investment in infrastructure and social programs to create spinoff hiring and investment by the private sector

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