According to the annual Regional Check-Up report by the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC), Vancouver Island enjoyed another year of solid economic expansion due to continued population growth.
The region’s population grew by 1.4 per cent or 11,822 residents to 857,144 in 2018, although growth has slowed from previous years due to a decline in the number of new residents from other provinces.
Continued growth in population led to steady increases in demand for the region’s services.
“Our service sector added 14,300 jobs last year. Seven of our 11 service industries expanded in response to population growth and strong service demand. Not surprisingly, employment in retail services, health care and social assistance, and public administration saw the largest job gains in the service sector,” said Chuck Chandler, partner at Grant Thornton LLP in Victoria.
Despite declines in housing sales for the second consecutive year, average home prices continued to climb, increasing by 7.3 per cent in Victoria. The total value of building permits also increased, by almost 10 per cent, according to the CPABC.