More jobs, shrinking workforce.

There are 17% less people working in Greater Victoria.

  • The 2016 Canadian Census estimated the number of people working in Greater Victoria to be 146,215
  • The 2021 Canadian Census estimated the number people working in Greater Victoria to be 120,325

That is 25,890 (17%) less people working in the region.

During this same period business increased available jobs by 7%

This means that local companies are struggling to hire enough staff, are vying for the same workforce, and feeling the weight of increased recruitment and staffing cost, lost revenues, reduced hours, and higher turnover. Unfortunately it looks like this reduction of workforce is going to continue unless something is done to slow, stop, and turn around the issue.

After a thorough root cause analysis, the Chamber has identified a set of compounding issues with one standing above the rest as a cornerstone issue that has plagued the peninsula for years and needs to be addresses. This has become an accelerating issue for the peninsula and has now reached critical mass and will greatly affect local businesses future sustainability.

The compounding escalating issues leading to reduced workforce are:

  • Increased Housing Costs: The cost of housing for our staff has increased 41% since 2001 from 30% of gross household income to 70% of gross household income.
  • Limited Transit Options: Limited and infrequent public transportation means that 77% of the people working on the peninsula have to commute an average of 40km per day into the region to work.
  • Younger Workers forced Out Of Region: The younger workforce rely heavily on alternative transportations as they are unable to afford to run an automobile and be able to pay their housing costs. This means they are trying to find work as close to their homes as possible and thus are moving to regions where rent and housing is cheaper.
  • Aging Population Displacing Workers: Even though our population increased 5,200 people from 2001 to 2021 the 65+ population increased 6,165 displacing close to 1,000 working age citizens. The expansion of the retired population in our region is outpacing our population growth and still ramping up.

Antiquated municipal housing policies have placed our staff in crisis.

Discriminatory housing policies, such as restricting density, have dominated municipal policy for more than 20 years, and denied citizens with median and entry level income their right to adequate housing.
In 2001 housings costs was 30% of gross household income and now more than 70%.
Discriminatory housing policies must stop.