Surrey Labour Market Report Shows Impressive 32% Job Recovery Growth in Construction

The February 2023 Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report has been released by the Surrey Board of Trade.

“Tracking labour market trends in an ongoing way is important to ensure our policy framework is focused on developing a suitably skilled workforce, a broad availability of good-quality education as a foundation for future training, and a close matching of skills supply to the needs of enterprises and labour markets. It enables workers and enterprises to adjust to changes in technology and markets, and to anticipate and prepare for the skills needs of the future,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “This will fuel innovation, investment, economic diversification and competitiveness, as well as social and occupational mobility.”

Over the last 12 months, Surrey employment grew by an estimated 5,000 jobs or 1.6% since January 2022. While still significant, this growth was much smaller than the growth in the previous 12 months (January 2021-January 2022) which was almost 13,000 jobs or 4.2% as part of the COVID-19 recovery since 2020.

While the last 12 months in Surrey saw more subdued employment growth (1.6% vs. 2.4% per year the previous 12-month period), the city continues to grow its economy, population and labour force.

While three of Surrey’s four largest sectors (manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and health care and social services) lost jobs since January 2022, construction led the recovery of jobs by growing almost 32% or 7,700 jobs. Employment growth in business and other support services, educational services, and other services signaled reduced impacts of the pandemic in their sectors in Surrey.

As of January 2023, the biggest growth in employment by broad occupational category in Surrey since January 2022 has been driven by Surrey’s construction sector, with trades, transport and equipment operators having the largest growth in positions over the last 12 months with over 6,700 new jobs for an almost 12.0% increase. Management positions (+3,864 or +24.2%) also experienced major job growth in Surrey since January 2022, while natural resource positions experienced a 23.0% decrease (915 jobs).

Management and trades and transport operator categories combined for growth of over 10,000 jobs in the last 12 months in Surrey; twice as many new jobs than were created as a whole. In others, job losses in business, finance and administration and health combined for a loss of 6,949 jobs and more than canceled out the gains in the employment growth sectors.

The construction and educational service sectors in Surrey drove employment growth in the last 12 months with almost 10,700 new jobs combined, or twice the overall job growth in Surrey during this period.