Surrey industries experience increasing jobs recovery

THE February 2022 Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report, released by the Surrey Board of Trade, shows that in February 2022, Surrey’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be driven by a two-pronged strength: knowledge-based industries and resource industries.

Employment in Surrey in February 2022 was an estimated 1.7% or 4,900 jobs above employment before the pandemic in February 2020, and almost 30,000 higher than the lowest job levels in April 2020.

“Improvement continues in Surrey – in December 2021, seven out of 15 industry categories had job levels still below February 2020,” said Anita Huberman, President and CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “But two months later, in February 2022, we see a significant improvement where only three of 15 industries are still below pre-pandemic job levels.”

The largest employment sectors in Surrey in February 2022 were:

1. Wholesale and retail trade (55,296)

2. Health care and social assistance (40,296)

3. Transportation and warehousing (28,360)

4. Manufacturing (28,332)

5. Construction (23,989)

6. Professional, scientific and technical (21,900)

The sectors most impacted and still not fully recovered in Surrey are estimated to be:

* Construction is still down by over 8,655 jobs or -26.5%;

* Finance, insurance and real estate is down by 2,817 jobs or -15.2%;

* Business, building and other support is down by over 2,331 jobs or -16%;

* Accommodation and food services is lower than pre-pandemic levels by over 2,269 jobs or -11.9%;

* “Other services” (personal services, high touch jobs) is down by almost 2,180 jobs or -16.2%;

* While utilities only lost 487 jobs since the pandemic, this represents a 28.9% drop in this relatively small Surrey industry – the largest percentage drop among all industries.

The sectors showing the greatest recovery since February 2020 in Surrey are estimated to be:

* Health care and social assistance is up by over 6,163 jobs or 18.1%;

* Public administration employment is up almost 3,825 jobs or 40.6% in Surrey, perhaps from sustained back to school trends since Christmas;

* Wholesale & retail trade has rebounded with almost 3,692 new jobs for a 7.2% increase;

* Gaining 2,094 jobs, the natural resources sector saw a large percentage recovery in Surrey at 69.6% since February 2020;

* Professional, scientific and technical services have increased employment by 1,553 over pre-COVID levels for an 8% increase since February 2020.

Manufacturing (1,498 or 5.6%), transportation and warehousing (1,131 or 4.2%) and information, culture and recreation (848 or 8.9%) showed smaller growth in Surrey but still higher employment than before the pandemic started.