It has been said by many “2020 was the year from hell.” We can’t argue with that. From a fatal pandemic to a worldwide movement for racial justice, the year 2020 definitely saw its fair share of detrimental global events; I’m sure you have some anecdotes that will be told for years to come. Fear, uncertainty and Job loss were all felt by a majority of Canadians throughout the year, negatively affecting some industries more than others. Vancouver, B.C., a city that relies heavily on international students, business and travellers can definitely say it was hit hard by the pandemic in many sectors. Unfortunately, due to the unexpected expenses, along with many business closures and recommendations to stay home the economy quickly declined; thus, leading to more jobs lost in Vancouver, as well as all across the country as 2020 came to a close. Even now, in mid-January of 2021 good-paying, stable, full-time jobs continue to be hard to secure and maintain.
Are Jobs Harder to Come By in Vancouver?
2020 Job Market in Review
2020 was definitely a roller coaster with minimal ups and steep drops; downright frightening. At the beginning of the year, B.C. was doing great in many aspects. The unemployment rate was at one of our all-time lowest around 5%. However, once the pandemic was in full swing, the unemployment rate shot up as what to come was still very unknown. Almost every industry saw the ripple effect of such an aggressive virus and the impact it had on us all. According to Statistics Canada’s monthly labour force survey, In March of last year, the unemployment rate doubled and continued to rise to reach its peak of 13.4% in mid-May. Consequently, we saw a slight decrease once the workforce gradually opened up at the beginning of summer, but overall, we did not see much improvement until September came around. At this point, the unemployment rate decreased to around 11%.
As our BC Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness stated in September 2020, “Our focus on restarting B.C.’S economy in a safe, responsible manner has strongly supported our efforts to battle the pandemic as well as get our economy back on its feet.” This proved to be true for the few consecutive months left until the end of the year; ending the year off with an unemployment rate of about 7.4%; Not horrible, but still not back to pre-pandemic times.
So, what we are left to contemplate now is, what will 2021 be like? Will we have new jobs created? Will we get our old jobs back? Will “things” go back to “normal?” Well, this is one challenging question to answer. As we progress through such unknown territory anything is possible. From the previous four months of the last year, it would seem there is hope. According to a statement released on Jan 8’2021, Ravi Kahlon, Minister of jobs, Economy Recovery and Innovation said, “There is the reason for hope in the long term as independent economists predict B.C. will lead all provinces with the highest gross domestic product growth in 2021 and the lowest unemployment- but only if we are successful in bending the curve and reducing transmission.” He further went on to say, “our Stronger recovery plan is underway and helping to support people and businesses. I encourage all businesses that have been affected by the pandemic to apply for the small and medium-sized business recovery grant. We need to stay focused on following the advice of our health professionals for the health of British Columbians as well as the health of our economy.”
In short, a multitude of industries and jobs have been negatively affected by the events of 2020. However, upon doing research and speaking to many Vancouverites, Jobs in Vancouver are not always hard to come by. It is all very dependent on the industry, the demand and your experience.
If you are looking for part-time casual, part-time permanent or contract work, there are lots to go around. On the other hand, if you are looking for a full-time permanent job in Tourism, ESL, Retail or hospitality you most definitely will come across roadblocks.
Our advice is to always keep your eyes on the prize. Some recommendations include: set yourself up with a Vancouver employment agency such as Best Personnel or a Vancouver temp agency, take a job where you can use your transferable skills or maybe re-training is a possibility.