In an effort to keep the public and business community informed on the economy of the region, The Regional District of Central Okanagan’s Economic Development Commission (COEDC) - the region’s primary business resource - releases a publicly available quarterly Economic Indicators Report highlighting key economic data for the Central Okanagan.
The Q3 period of 2018 saw an increase in the Central Okanagan’s labour force participation of 3.1% and an average unemployment rate of 5.3%. The region saw an average of 1,316 job postings each month in Q3, an increase of 4.1% compared to the same period for 2017, supporting the growth in the region’s labour force, with the highest demand continuing to be in the sales and service occupational category.
Total housing starts year to date are 36.9% lower when compared with 2017. While down from the 2017 record setting numbers, 2018 year to date housing starts in the region are above 2012-2015 year end totals. This change is primarily attributed to the record high number of multi-family projects that were started in 2017. Additionally, the CMHC reported new home prices averaging $905,000 – up 19.7% from the same period in 2017. Building permits in the region for January to August 2018 have increased 7% from 2017. Non-residential permits have increased 48% primarily driven by commercial building permits.
Note the Commission collects the above third party statistical data from BC Stats, Statistics Canada, CMHC, and local governments in the Central Okanagan. Caution should be used in the interpretation of month-to-month statistics, in particular the Labour Force Survey, a monthly sample survey which provides unemployment rates of the Canadian labour market.