CA Study Shows Economy Less Resource Based - More Diversified
For Immediate Release
October 21, 2002
Shift to service industries has impacts on wages and hours worked
VANCOUVER - The last section of the BC Check-Up, Edition 2002, released today by the Chartered Accountants of British Columbia, shows that the province's economy has become more diversified and less resource-dependent over the last decade. From 1992 to 2001, service sector jobs in BC grew by 24.2 per cent, while jobs in the goods producing sector edged up by just 5.4 per cent.
"The move towards a more service based economy has both positives and negatives for BC," says Richard Rees, FCA, CEO of the Chartered Accountants of BC. "On the positive side, service industries are more stable than manufacturing and resource industries. On the negative side, service sector jobs tend to pay less, require fewer hours and are concentrated in major urban centres."
The CAs point out that despite the transition towards more service sector jobs, the province is still heavily dependent on natural resources, particularly forestry. In fact, the resource sector accounts for approximately one-quarter of all jobs in the province and is the major employer in numerous BC communities.
During this transition, BC workers have come out ahead in terms of employment rates, gender equity and job stability. However, these gains have come at the price of relatively flat wages and a reduction in the number of hours worked.
Over the past decade unemployment in BC has declined, but not at the same rate as the other "have" provinces or the national average, which have seen greater improvements. Fortunately, the study notes that 2002 is showing some encouraging signs for BC, with 88,000 new jobs added between January and August.
Though BC wages have been flat over the past decade, they did show a slight increase in 2001. Women have been some of the biggest winners, as the wage gap between men and women narrowed. Women in BC now make 83 per cent of what men do, up from 81 per cent in 1997. BC is the only jurisdiction to see an improvement in the female/male wage ratio since 1997.
The work study released today is the final section of the BC Check-Up. The BC Check-Up is available online at: www.bccheckup.com.
The 8,500 CAs in BC provide expert advice to a variety of small and large business; are key members of management teams; or consult to private industry and the public sector. As members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia, they adhere to a strictly enforced code of conduct and ongoing professional development.
For more information, contact:
Michelle McCormick, public affairs manager
Tel: (604) 488-2625
Background on BC Check-Up, Edition 2002