B.C. cities dominate Canada’s hottest job markets

Do you want to be part of Canada’s hottest job markets?

Well, it would help if you live in British Columbia.

According to an annual survey conducted by Express Employment Professionals, three of the country’s five hottest job cities are on the west coast.

Citing B.C.’s 5.6 per cent unemployment rate – the lowest mark in the country – as a key catalyst, Express lauded the province’s employment draw, stating its “results are striking as to how British Columbia has steadily risen in the rankings.”

The news was not so positive for B.C.’s provincial neighbours, however.

“Equally clear is the continued and steady decline of Alberta, which dominated the first hot job rankings in the past. Wood Buffalo (Fort McMurray), once the hottest job market in the country, now ranks No. 19 in the nation,” the report stated.

So where should Canadians begin their job search? Here are the five hottest markets with populations north of 200,000.

  1. Vancouver, B.C.

Population: 603,502

Available jobs per 1,000: 6.46

Overall rank: 8

Despite coming in at eighth overall, Vancouver saw a rise in jobs over its 2015 figures in the same survey. Express cited a gain of more than one job per 1,000 residents over last year’s mark. Vancouver gets an added boost from its suburbs, as well. North Vancouver – with a population of just over 48,000 – was listed as Canada’s No. 1 job market with 10.42 available jobs per 1,000 people.

  1. Surrey, B.C.

Population: 468,251

Available jobs per 1,000: 5.59

Overall rank: 16

The good news continues for Metro Vancouver as Surrey, B.C. comes in at No. 2 for Canada’s biggest cities. Surrey’s gains were more modest than Vancouver’s, jumping from 4.80 jobs-per-thousand and rising only four spots in the overall ranking. Cooks led the way for B.C. job postings with over 1,300 total openings.

  1. Burnaby B.C.

Population: 223,218

Available jobs per 1,000: 4.52

Overall rank: 25

Just to the east of Vancouver, Burnaby comes in at third amongst Canada’s big cities with modest gains on its 4.27 jobs-per-thousand and 28th-overall ranking in 2015. A number of tech companies call Burnaby home, including the Canadian operations of video gamers Electronic Arts.

  1. Mississauga, Ont.

Population: 713,443

Available jobs per 1,000: 3.85

Overall rank: 32

Just on the outskirts of Toronto proper, Mississauga has the benefit of being close enough to Canada’s biggest city to lure business to the highly-populated suburbs. Ontario’s job opportunities were dominated by the retail sector, with nearly 2,000 openings province-wide for salespersons. However, Mississauga tumbled from a 10th-overall ranking and 6.08 jobs-per-thousand in the 2015 rankings to its current standing.

  1. Edmonton, Alta.

Population: 812,201

Available jobs per 1,000: 3.84

Overall rank: 33

Though Edmonton felt similar pain to the rest of Alberta, it still landed ahead of a lot of Canada’s major urban centres and takes the title of the second-most populated city among Express’ top 50, trailing only Montreal (which checked in at 46th overall). Food service supervisors were Alberta’s most in-demand job openings, with just under 1,000 vacancies province-wide.