May 2, 2013

The Economy of the Province of British Columbia

The economy of the province of British Columbia is primarily centered on its vast collection of natural resources. With a population of 4. 4 million, British Columbia reaches from the Pacific Ocean in the east, the United States to the south and Arctic in the north. The capital of British Columbia is Victoria, the largest city is Vancouver with 2. 5 million residents.

Since the 1800s, Cariboo, Vancouver Island and other British Columbia areas have produced timber, gold, silver, copper, zinc and coal. The British Columbia Technical and Research Committee notes that the average mining salary is $110, 800 per year. Direct employment runs at 14, 000. According to BC Stats, the direct employment for mining is expected to increase to 16, 770 by 2023. Support staff can include bankers, geologists, electricians, chemists, lawyers, accountants and restaurant workers. Support staff number between 40, 000 to 80, 000. Schools are needed to train workers with relevant skills.

The future outlook for the British Columbia mining sector remains strong according to The Vancouver Sun report on April 20, 2013. Precious metals mining has many important influences: can be used as money to pay off debt, valuable for development and job creation multiplier effect. The location on the Pacific Ocean is perfect for selling minerals to India and China. Canada mining accounts for 23% of exports and attracted 18% of global mining investment. Pierre Granton, President of the Mining Association of British Columbia said “a doubling of demand for most mineral products” will occur in the next two decades. This international trade will increase the value of the Canadian dollar.

Other British Columbia sectors experiencing growth in 2011 were construction, business and transportation. In 2011, agriculture, public administration, professional and science saw job declines. Statistics Canada has shown that British Columbia has lost an estimated 34, 800 private sector jobs in 2011. Many governments are cutting back due to budget problems. Private sector job losses have a multiplier effect with reduced income and taxes. These eventually lead to the reduction in direct public employment and indirect services, like education, health and sciences.

In 2012, the unemployment rate for British Columbia was 6. 3%. This was on the low end compared to other provinces. Future employment opportunities are more likely to depend upon influence from the Pacific Ocean. For example, many British Hong Kong ex- patriots settled in British Columbia when Hong Kong was returned to China. These immigrants are likely to bring their Asian ideas and business connections to the province

Potential sectors for job growth will be based on the natural environment of British Columbia. Eco- tourism is a growing employment sector where visitors can see bears, beavers, coyotes, ducks, fish, goats, hawks, loons, owls, ravens and wolves. After a long day of walking, tourists can enjoy apple ciders or award- wining wines from more than 186 vineyards according to Outdoor adventure can be enjoyed in Canadian national parks, like Glacier, the Gulf Islands or Kootenay. The natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle of British Columbia is truly appealing.

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