24,000 jobs now recovered in Surrey: Surrey Board of Trade

THE Surrey Board of Trade on Tuesday announced that it has released the only Surrey-focused labour market report to inform decision-making and planning on recovery and resilience for this month.

“Surrey has recovered over an estimated 24,000 jobs from July to November. Last month it was 17,000 jobs from July to October, but caution reigns as we moved into further restrictions in December to January 8,” said SBOT CEO Anita Patel Huberman.

Highlights for Surrey:
• The total estimated net deficit of jobs in Surrey since February is now just over 12,000 jobs, down from a peak of over 37,000 jobs lost.

• Since the end of July, Surrey has recovered over 24,000 jobs (over 66%) with 6,972 of those being attributed to the month of November (Last month’s report indicated 17,000 jobs recovered). The number of jobs recovered since July is almost the equivalent to the number of jobs lost in the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Although the utilities sector gained jobs in the first 7 months of the pandemic, it has faced a loss of almost 14% of jobs since October, with the majority of job losses coming in November 2020.

• Surrey continues to see an increase in jobs in accommodation and food services with 7.7% more jobs in the industry by November 2020 than those in February 2020 (pre-pandemic) and almost 7,000 jobs recovered since July 2020. 

• The greatest gains in the number of jobs recovered in November 2020 were seen in educational services (approximately 1,741 jobs); followed by information, culture and recreation (approximately 901 jobs) and transportation and warehousing (approximately 878 jobs). These three industries made up for more than 50% of the job gains in November 2020.

• The greatest overall losses since March 2020 were seen in the retail and wholesale trade (over 6,400 jobs lost), followed by construction (over 6,400 jobs lost). Over 3,200 (or 50%) of the jobs lost in the construction industry came in October and November 2020, though at least some of this loss could be attributed to the seasonality of this industry. 

• The greatest employment losses by occupation in November 2020 in Surrey were seen in health occupations (7.3%), and art, culture, recreation and sport occupations (5.5%).

• The following classifications of occupations have seen a net gain in jobs when compared to February 2020 (pre-pandemic): natural and applied sciences occupations (over 3,400 jobs); business, finance and administration occupations (over 2,000 jobs); and manufacturing and utilities (over 1,600 jobs).

• Over 55% of businesses in BC were forced to change their business status as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

• Over 34% of businesses in BC laid off at least one staff member since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• More than 54% of accommodation and food service industry businesses in BC have laid off staff, 20% higher than the BC average.

• Seventeen percent of businesses in BC expect 100% of their staff to continue primarily tele-working or working remotely, even after the pandemic

• More than 50% of businesses indicated that they expect less than 10% of their staff to tele-work or work remotely, after the pandemic:

o Other Services (except public administration (72%))

o Manufacturing (70%)

o Arts, entertainment and recreation (59%)

o Wholesale trade (54%)

• Overall, Canadians reported a significantly lower Mental Health Index score compared to the pre- pandemic benchmarks.

• Those working for employers with 51-100 employees reported the lowest score and those that are self-employed / sole proprietors reported the best score, in November 2020. 

• Overall, British Columbians have indicated a slightly better Mental Health Index score (in November 2020) when compared to Canada as a whole.

• Visible minorities reported a significantly lower mental health score than their white counterparts.

• Those who are employed but saw reduced hours or reduced salary reported lower mental health scores than those who were unemployed, while those who saw no change to their employment indicated the highest mental health score.

• Full-time students have reported the lowest mental health score for six consecutive months.

• The highest mental health scores in November are stated among those in real estate, rental and leasing, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining and oil and gas extraction.

In summary, despite significant job losses in some Surrey sectors and the uncertainty of the future, some sectors and occupational groups have higher levels of employment in November than before the pandemic (February 2020):

Recovering Industries

· Accommodations and food services (+ 7.7%)

· Natural resource industries (+ 28.9%)

· Professional, scientific and technical services (+ 2.9%)

· Utilities (+ 40.3%)

Recovering Occupations

· Business, finance and administration (+ 5%)

· Manufacturing and utilities (+ 12.7%)

· Natural and applied sciences and related (+ 17.7%)

· Natural resource, agriculture and related production (+ 15.2%)

F Report: