Vancouver’s Economy Led Canadian Growth in 2016 - Conference Board of Canada

March 3, 2017 | Jobs and the Economy

Vancouver created one third (82,900) of Canada’s 277,000 new jobs over 2015-16, and is expected to create another 43,000 over the next two years according to the Conference Board of Canada’s latest Metropolitan Economic Outlook. Driven by the city’s innovation economy in technology, digital entertainment, film, tourism and finance, Vancouver’s position as an international gateway has been instrumental in driving economic growth during challenging and uncertain global economic conditions.

“Vancouver’s economy is booming and continues to be the fastest growing, most resilient, most diverse and greenest economy in Canada,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Our thriving innovation ecosystem – in tech, creative and green sectors - is the backbone in delivering tens of thousands of new jobs per year in our growing region.”

The Conference Board forecasts Vancouver’s real GDP to remain strong, averaging over 3% per year for the next two years. If this forecast is accurate, Vancouver’s economy will have expanded by more than 3% in six of seven years.

“Vancouver's knowledge economy, between post-secondary institutions, startups and clusters produce strong synergies for economic innovation and growth,” says Alan Arcand, Associate Director for Municipal Studies at the Conference Board of Canada. “Vancouver has been leading the charge for growth among Canadian cities, and will continue to be one of the best performing going forward thanks to key industries like tech, tourism and film.”

Other Vancouver economic highlights:

  • Vancouver is home to over 75,000 tech jobs, which are expected to grow to 90,000 by 2019
  • Vancouver’s finance sector has moved up in the rankings of the Global Financial Centres Index from 27th place in 2007 to 20thplace in 2016
  • Vancouver is the third largest Film & TV production centre in the Americas
  • More than 10 million overnight visitors came to Greater Vancouver last year
  • Vancouver is the world’s number one VFX and Animation cluster (according to Variety Magazine)

The Conference Board’s Economic Outlook expects Vancouver’s housing market to slow somewhat, but strength in other areas will bolster the region’s growth and keep Vancouver within the top performing economies of major Canadian cities.

“Through its Capital Attraction Initiative, the Vancouver Economic Commission has actively advocated for significant and transformational changes to Canada’s immigration policy, and in branding Vancouver as a viable destination for increased global venture capital flows,” says Ian McKay, CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission. “New, streamlined immigration policies, and a tripling of investment capital directed to Vancouver’s entrepreneurs since 2013 have helped to position Vancouver as a globally recognised leader for creative, innovative and sustainable business.”