News Release: 2021 Advisory Council, Q4 2020 Economic Indictors and Job Market Indicator Reports

Economic Indicators February 22, 2021

In the last 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the COEDC has focused on supporting the immediate needs of local business and drive for full economic recovery in the Central Okanagan. The Commission has kept local businesses informed and connected to provincial and federal programs, provided one to one guidance for struggling businesses and informed evolving needs of the community through industry information communicated via its 45+ member Advisory Council and through data and statistics collected through multiple channels.

The industry expertise and intelligence provided by the COEDC Advisory Council has always been essential in informing COEDC programming to foster a sustainable community economy in the Central Okanagan. As the Q4 Economic and Job Market Indicators demonstrate, the Region continues to grapple with the impacts of Covid-19 but there is hope on the horizon. COEDC staff look forward to tapping into the expertise of the incoming COEDC Advisory Council and 2021 Chair, Terry Edwards, as we continue to navigate immediate impacts and position for recovery.” Krista Mallory, Manager COEDC

2021 COEDC Advisory Council:

The COEDC Advisory Council Executive and 2021 Chair Terry Edwards welcome new Advisory Council members:

Ryan Malcolm, CEO of Ntityix Development Corp., representing Construction & Development

Jill White, President of Waterplay Solutions Corp., representing Manufacturing

“Having served on the COEDC Advisory Council since 2018, I have experienced the value of bringing a cross-section of industry and community leaders together to support economic development in the Region in times of strong economic growth and in times of economic uncertainty. The appointment of this year’s new members adds valuable new insight and perspective to the council and I’m honoured to chair the Council in 2021.” Terry Edwards, COEDC Advisory Council Chair and Director & COO of Decisive Dividend Corp.

The 45 member Advisory Council serves as a conduit of information and insight for the COEDC and is made up of industry leaders, elected officials, local government staff and community organizations representing a cross section of industries. For a full listing of Advisory Council and Executive members, click here.

In an effort to keep the public and business community informed on the economy of the region, the COEDC – the Region’s primary business resource – releases publically available quarterly Economic Indicators Report highlighting key economic data for the Central Okanagan. The Q4 2020 Economic Indicators report includes cumulative statistics for 9 key economic indicators for January to December 2020.

In 2021, the Commission is proud to launch the Job Market Indicators Report. This report provides a snapshot of the Central Okanagan’s labour force and job market through data collected from Vicinity Jobs, a real-time labour market information technology platform.

Both reports are publically available in the Resources page in the COEDC website.

Economic Indictors Page 1 Q4 2020.PNG

“After many years of record –breaking growth, the Q4 2020 Economic Indicators reflect a full year of data that demonstrates the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Central Okanagan economy throughout 2020. While many indicators began to trend upwards in the last quarter of 2020, and the Region is well positioned for economic recovery in a post-COVID world, we recognize that recovery will be slower in some sectors than others, particularly those that rely on face to face interaction, air travel and the visitor economy.” Krista Mallory, Manager COEDC

The Kelowna CMA is the fastest growing metro area in BC at 1.9% as per the latest Statistics Canada population estimates release, and the 4th fastest in Canada.

While navigating the impacts of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Okanagan region saw a slight labour force decrease of 1.4% in 2020 and finished the year with a 4.7% unemployment rate in December 2020 (a significant decrease from the 9.6% unemployment rate posted in May 2020) and an average unemployment rate of 7.2% for 2020.

On the business side, the region saw an increase of 4.7% in business licenses (14,534 in total) for 2020, with Lake Country (16.2%) leading the way with strong business license growth in the Central Okanagan.

Highlights reported by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation saw housing starts in the region decrease by 19.4% with focus remaining on multi-family units. The median price for a new single/semi-detached home in the region sits at $877,500, a price decrease of 7.7% in 2020.

Q4 2020 Job Indictors Image.PNG


While the unemployment rate saw strong recovery in December 2020 (4.7%) from a low of 9.6% in May 2020 as businesses reopened and rehired existing staff members, new job postings in 2020 decreased 28.7% compared to 2019.  Meanwhile, job seekers – individuals who created a profile in job portals – increased by 12.7%.

When looking at job postings by occupation category, the largest decrease in postings was in Natural and Applied Sciences (-46.9%), followed by Management (-37.1%) and Natural Resources & Agriculture (-35.5%) occupations, while in the job postings by industry category, the largest decrease in postings occurred in Mining, Oil & Gas Extraction (-67.7%), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-66.0%) and Real Estate, Rental & Leasing (-60.5%).

Conversely, the largest increase in job seekers by occupation category was in Natural Resources & Agriculture (24.1%), followed by Business, Finance & Administration (20.6%) and Art, Culture, Recreation & Sport (20.0%), while in the job postings by industry category, the largest increase in job seekers occurred in Information & Cultural Industries (48.8%), followed by Transportation & Warehousing (40.8%) and Educational Services (33.2%).

Note the Commission collects the above third party statistical data from BC Stats, Statistics Canada, CMHC, Vicinity Jobs, 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.


For More Information Contact:

Krista Mallory

Manager, Economic Development