Newest Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report Says 30,000 Jobs Recovered, 9,000 Job Gap Remains

The Surrey Board of Trade has released the 6th Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report today.

“The job market in Surrey is on a positive trajectory,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “We still need to pay attention to the 9,000 jobs that are yet to be recovered since the pandemic began. Surrey is going to be the largest city in BC very soon – and to say that we have recovered 30,000 jobs is positive news for our economy.”


·       The total estimated net deficit of jobs in Surrey since February is just under 9,000 jobs, down from a peak of over 38,000 jobs lost.

·       While January 2021 still showed an increase in the total number of new jobs, it was the slowest month of growth since July 2020 (over 6 months ago).

·       Since the end of July 2020, Surrey has seen an upward trajectory in the number of jobs, recovering almost 30,000 of those jobs (over 75%) with almost half of these recovered jobs being attributed to the last quarter of 2020.

·       Jobs in the Agriculture, Forestry, Finishing, Mining, Quarrying, Oil & Gas industry surged early in 2020. Jobs in the industry peaked in July and have seen fluctuations since, but the number of jobs remains well above the pre-pandemic levels of February 2020.

·       The industries that have seen the strongest recovery, in terms of number of jobs recovered from December 2020 to January 2021, include: Health Care & Social Assistance (approximately 773 jobs), followed by Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (approximately 746 jobs) and Business, Building & Other Support Services (approximately 570 jobs).

·       Occupations in Education, Law & Social, Community & Government Services continued to see an upward trend, with jobs in these occupations matching their February 2020 levels in January 2021.

·       Manufacturing & Utilities occupations show an overall net gain of jobs when compared to February 2020 (approximately 1,000 jobs), however these occupations have continually posted a job loss in every month of Q4 2020.

·       Employment losses by occupation in January 2021 were seen in Sales & Services (approximately 1,000 jobs), Business, Finance & Administration (over 500 jobs) and Art, Culture, Recreation & Sport occupations (approximately 495 jobs) in Surrey.

·       While Sales & Services occupations had seen a steady increase in jobs in the last half of 2020, these occupations posted a significant loss in January 2021 and have seen the greatest overall loss in Surrey (over 12,000 jobs lost since the beginning of the pandemic). This may be due to stronger restrictions in the last quarter of 2020.

·       When asked when they expect business to return to pre-COVID staffing and revenue levels, 22% of Surrey businesses indicated that they were now back to pre-pandemic levels and another 14% expected this to be the case within the first half of 2021. 37% of respondents indicated that they do not expect to reach pre-pandemic levels of staffing and revenue until at least 2022, while another almost 2% indicated that they do not expect to ever reach the same levels.

·       In January 2021, the overall Mental Health Index (MHI) score for Canadians was reported to be
-11.7 (or 11.7 points lower than the pre-pandemic benchmark), up slightly from December’s -11.8.

·       Working Canadians are reporting mental health scores that are equivalent to those reported by the most distressed working Canadians prior to the pandemic.

·       The MHI sub-score for the Isolation category is at the lowest point since the inception of the MHI.

·       Managers have a lower MHI score (-13.2) than those in non-managerial roles (-10.7) and employees working for companies with 51-100 employees have the lowest MHI (-15.7) followed by those working for companies with 101-500 employees (-13.3).