25,000 Job Losses Indicated in October Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report

–        However, some industries estimated to actually have a higher level of employment than February 2020.

The Surrey Board of Trade Rapid Response Business Centre has released its 2nd Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report on COVID-19-related impacts.

“This is the only Surrey-focused labour market report to inform decision-making and planning on recovery and resilience,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

“While Surrey has recovered over an estimated 12,000 jobs from July to September, the pandemic still leaves the Surrey economy with 25,000 fewer jobs than in February 2020. This -8.5% decline is still cause for concern as our small businesses continue to struggle. However, economically and in comparison to other Metro Vancouver cities and regions, Surrey will weather the pandemic’s storm as we see some industries and some job categories actually having a higher level of employment than in pre-pandemic times.”


·       Overall, Surrey has lost over an estimated 25,000 jobs (8.5% of jobs) since February 2020. Since the end of July, Surrey has recovered over an estimated 12,000 jobs, with the greatest job losses in March and April.

·       Additional losses, at a slower rate, were incurred between May and July, however, a similar number of jobs were recovered in August and September.

·       The greatest gains in employment in Surrey, since February 2020, are estimated to be in the Utilities (over 61%) and Natural Resources (approximately 20%) industries.

·       Most industries in Surrey saw a gain in August/September, compared to July 2020, with the exceptions of: Natural Resources; Construction; Educational Services; and Health Care & Social Assistance.

·       The greatest employment losses by occupation in Surrey were in the following categories: Sales & Services; Education, Law & Social, Community and Government Services; and Trades, Transport & Equipment Operators.

·       Though Natural Resources and Agriculture saw an estimated loss of over 1,000 employees in August/September, overall occupations in this sector in Surrey saw a gain of 33.9% since February.

·       While there has been a huge impact, some industries and some occupational categories are estimated to actually have a higher level of employment than February 2020 (pre-pandemic). Those industries include:

o  Utilities, up over 61% in Surrey;

o  Natural Resources, up over 19% as an industry in Surrey;

o  And, Manufacturing occupations, up by over 20%.

·       Individuals in Canada most impacted by the pandemic have been:

o  The greatest job loss, by age, is faced by those aged 15 to 24 years old.

o  Female employees are impacted more greatly than male employees by job loss.

o  Non-union workers are impacted more than union workers.

o  In BC, women have fared better than their counterparts in Canada, overall.

o  Women in BC have seen a significant increase in jobs in the Goods-Producing sector (26%).

o  Employment losses for men in BC are greater than those for men in Canada, overall.

·       Businesses and industries in Canada, most affected by the pandemic have been:

o   Businesses that are owned in majority by First Nations, Metis or Inuit owners show that they doubled the Canadian average of businesses that have laid off more than 50% of their staff.

o   The Finance and Insurance industries were the least affected by layoffs.

o   The Industries in which the most businesses laid-off 50% or more of their staff are:

  • Administrative & support, waste management & remediation services (26%)
  • Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (38%)
  • Accommodation & Food Services (48%)
  • Health Care & Social Assistance (20%).


Anita Huberman
CEO, Surrey Board of Trade