Surrey Labour Market a Tale of Two Themes: Sustained Growth and Significant Pandemic Recovery

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

“The labour market in Surrey over the last few years is a tale of two themes,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “One of sustained growth in jobs among key goods-producing sectors in natural resources and in, lesser so, construction. The other of significant recoveries in service industries such as wholesale and retail, accommodation and food services and educational services. However, it is a bit concerning that job growth has leveled off in knowledge-based sectors like professional, scientific and technical services, information, culture and recreation, health care and social services and secondary manufacturing. These sectors will need to expand labour market demand to generate the future economy Surrey needs.”

Surrey experienced employment growth in both goods-producing and service-producing sectors – those with the greatest job growth from May 2022 to May 2023 are estimated to be:

·       Wholesale and retail trade employment rose over the last year with an increase of 6.9% or over 3,800 jobs in Surrey;

·       The education sector grew by a further 13.7% or 2,356 jobs since last school year;

·       Finance, insurance and real estate employment also increased a sizeable 10.0% or 1,500 jobs during this period;

·       The construction sector increased by over 4.4% or 1,303 jobs since May 2022; and,

·       While smaller in absolute growth in jobs (981), Surrey’s resource sector expanded by almost 23% over the last 12 months.

The sectors with the most negative employment change in Surrey over the last 12 months are estimated to be: professional, scientific and technical services; manufacturing; transportation and warehousing; and business, building and other support services.

As of May 2023, the growth in employment by broad occupational category in Surrey since May 2022 also reflects a heavy service-producing emphasis:

·       Management jobs grew by 25.0% or almost 4,164 jobs over the last 12 months;

·       Sales and service jobs grew by 4.2% or almost 3,400 positions in Surrey;

·       Education, law and social, community and government services contributed almost 2,000 new jobs for a 6.8% increase; and,

·       Art, culture, recreation and sport employment jumped by 23.8% over the last 12 months, creating over 1,663 jobs.

Tracking labour market trends in an ongoing way is important to ensure focus 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.

“We need to fuel innovation, investment, economic diversification and competitiveness, as well as social and occupational mobility.”