Last Updated on February 6, 2020
There is a growing trend in the BC labour market. Small business growth in British Columbia is being hampered because of problems filling job vacancies.
Restaurants and retail stores in the province are among those having a hard time hiring staff in a problem centred on companies with less than 20 employees.
BC’s quarterly Help Wanted Report, produced by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, showed 13,000 unfilled positions in kitchens, including everything from washing dishes to line cooks.
As a result wages for skilled positions are being driven up to as much as $19 an hour.
The construction industry is also suffering with 5,640 jobs available, more than 3,200 of them in speciality trades.
In fact, BC has the highest vacancy rate of any province at 3 per cent, which works out as around 50,000 unfilled positions.
Experts say increasing vacancies are a sign of a growing economy, but also suggest businesses are unable to expand.
The technology and manufacturing industries are also experiencing problems, according to an industry source, possibly due to reduced employment in BC’s struggling mining and energy sectors, along with some spillover from the oil downturn in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Retail trade, construction, health care and manufacturing were other sectors reporting shortages.
Restaurant owners in BC have been prevented from opening establishments due to a shortage of kitchen staff.
Those who want to open establishments are unable to do so simply due to lack of kitchen staff.
A declining number of young people going into the cooking trades is one reason for this, along with changes to the federal government’s temporary foreign workers program (TFWP), which eliminated a large pool of unskilled labour. Relief could be imminent as the federal immigration minister John McCallum recently confirmed that the TFWP is undergoing a full review to ensure it meets Canada’s labour market needs.
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