Sunshine Coast Economic Development - British Columbia, Canada

Labour Force

Labour Force

Employment by Industry

Gibsons & Area British Columbia
Total labour force 15 years + 6900 2,354,245
Retail trade 13.3% 11.3%
Health Care and social assistance 12.2% 10.6%
Manufacturing 8.8% 6.3%
Construction 7.9% 7.7%
Transportation & warehousing 7.2% 5.0%
Professional, scientific and technical services 6.6% 7.6%
Accommodation & food services 5.9% 7.6%
Educational services 5.2% 7.1%
Administrative support, waste management 4.4% 4.2%
Other services (except public administration) 4.1% 4.8%
Public administration 3.9% 6.1%
Arts, entertainment & recreation 3.7% 2.4%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing 3.0% 2.6%
Finance and insurance 2.6% 3.9%
Wholesale trade 2.3% 3.8%
Information & cultural industries 2.2% 2.6%
Real estate and rental and leasing 1.7% 2.3%
Mining 0.3% 1.1%
Utilities 0.2% 0.6%
Management of companies and enterprises 0.0% 0.1%

Source: Statistics Canada 2011 Household Survey

The majority of employment in the region is in services, retail trades and construction. The construction sector is strong, as is arts and entertainment.

Employment by Occupation

Gibsons & Area British Columbia
Sales and service occupations 24.6% 23.5%
Trades, transport and equipment operators and related 14.6% 14.3%
Business, finance and administration 11.9% 15.7%
Natural and applied sciences and related 9.3% 6.5%
Education, law, social & government services 9.0% 11.3%
Management occupations 8.9% 11.2%
Health occupations 7.0% 6.3%
Art, culture, recreation and sport 5.2% 3.3%
Natural resource, agriculture, production 3.6% 2.6%
Manufacturing and utilities 3.6% 3.2%
Occupation n/a 2.0% 2.1%

Source: Statistics Canada 2011 Household Survey

Four occupation classes: sales and service, business, natural and applied sciences, and arts and culture, employ half of the population. Many of these occupations are part of the Sunshine Coast’s footloose services sector, made up of highly skilled professionals with businesses that can be located anywhere. They are attracted to the Sunshine Coast by its quality of life, fibre optic communications network, proximity to Vancouver and the growing cluster of other similar businesses.

Dollars are brought into the local economy by services businesses, manufacturing, primary industry, tourism and upper level government services. The trades, transportation and equipment operator sector is largely employed in construction and primary industry.

Self Employment

Twenty-two percent of the workforce in the Gibsons area is self employed and 16% work from home — more than double the Canadian average.


Gibsons & Area British Columbia Canada
Labour Force Status
Employee 75.5% 84.8% 92.2%
Self Employed 22.1% 13.1% 7.8%
Place of Work
Worked at Home 16.2% 8.0% 6.9%
Worked outside Canada 0.3% 0.6% 0.4%
No fixed workplace address 14.7% 14.0% 11.3%
Worked at usual place 68.3% 77.4% 81.5%

Source: Statistics Canada 2011 Household Survey

Place of Employment

Due to our close proximity to Vancouver, over 10% of the local labour force commutes into the city.



Source: Statistics Canada 2011 Household Survey

Typical Wage

Non-union, professional wages on the Sunshine Coast are about 15% lower than in the Greater Vancouver Area and about 10% higher than the average across rural British Columbia.

Retail wages are typical for British Columbia. Most employers start wages about $2.00 above the minimum wage. Clerical wages are typical for British Columbia.

The unionized component of unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled wage groups is predominated by employees at Sunshine Coast’s largest employer, Howe Sound Pulp and Paper. Non-union wages in those categories generally start lower, but have similar maximums. The top end of the scales represent self-employed individuals working for fees, not wages.

Other unionized workers are predominately in public institutions: provincial government services, schools and local governments.

Labour Participation Rate

The low labour force participation rate is due to the large number of retired people on the Sunshine Coast.


Gibsons & Area British Columbia Canada
Total population aged 15 and over 11,070 3,646,840 27,259,525
In the labour force 6,900 2,354,245 17,990,080
Employed 6,490 2,171,465 16,595,035
Unemployed 410 182,775 1,395,045
Not in the Labour Force 4,170 1,292,595 9,269,445
Labour Force Participation Rate 62.3% 64.6% 66.0%
Employment Rate 58.6% 59.5% 60.9%
Unemployment Rate 5.9% 7.8% 7.8%

Source: Statistics Canada 2011 Household Survey

Unemployment Rates
Total British Columbia for February 2014 – 6.6%
Mainland/Southwest Region (includes Sunshine Coast) – 6.3%
Source: BC Stats

Workforce Educational Attainment

The Sunshine Coast has a higher than average trades component, due to the Howe Sound Pulp and Paper mill, forest services industry and a robust construction sector.


Gibsons & Area British Columbia Canada
No certificate, diploma or degree 14.2% 16.7% 20.1%
High school certificate or equivalent 26.4% 27.7% 25.6%
Apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma 13.3% 10.6% 10.8%
Non-university certificate or diploma 18.9% 17.2% 18.2%
University certificate or diploma below the bachelor level 4.4% 5.7% 4.4%
University certificate, diploma or degree 22.7% 22.1% 20.9%

Source: Statistics Canada 2011 Household Survey

Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Organization

District of Sechelt Sechelt Indian Government District SCRD   Gibsons


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