Jobs in Vancouver

Canada is a large country with relatively small population. Jobs are typically abundant with some caveats around Vancouver area. Canada exports a lot of items with over 80% of them going to the United States. In terms of economy, Canada follows its southern neighbor since that’s where the markets are. The largest exports to the US are commodities (such as oil, gas, metals etc.), autos and parts and timber.

Some may have noticed that Vancouver is not big on any of these three export staples which suggests a different labor market than most places. Yet, there seem to be a large number of wealthy individuals shopping for expensive toys and property. Almost feels like a place to retire, providing income is coming from overseas.

Folks in Vancouver and Canada are often ridiculed about the fact that they drive old cars (together with some super luxurious vehicles) – it may be one of the reasons why the Canadian economy remained fairly stable in the 2008 economic turmoil. Credit was not as stretched and, as such, no major fires had to be put out. Nevertheless, some of the very latest statistics as of fall 2011 say that money is almost too easy here and Canadians are racking up debt.

Some labor market specifics here are:

  • many, many smaller companies, consultancies, contractors and self-employed people. Vancouver thrives on businesses with up to 10 employees – getting a job here without a friend’s recommendation would be miraculous

  • few large organizations with the typical staffing needs of a humongous enterprise

  • really unreasonable competition for local government jobs making them unavailable to newcomers

All this results in a different labor market pulse. Jobs are a lot harder to get even at times when business is up and there is demand. At one point it all looks like there are job postings posted by some people who switch around every two-three years and newer people are not able to get in. What is more, while the US is talent based (as in everyone who is good at a certain skills, gets a job), Vancouver is based on friendships. This is where networking and sports/interests come into play.


Read on more on Vancouver labor market specifics – jobs in Vancouver2 and jobs in Vancouver3.