FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BCBusiness has released its 2019 list for the ‘Best Cities For Work’ in British Columbia.
Within Northeast B.C. there have been some notable rank changes, particularly to Fort St. John and Dawson Creek.
After two years of being in the top three, both cities dropped well below their previous rankings.
In 2018, Fort St. John ranked in first for the Best City for Work. Fort St. John now sits at number nine on the list.
Meanwhile, Dawson Creek now sits at number 30 on the list; a huge drop compared to when it ranked second in 2018.
The report says the drop in rankings could be due to economic factors, such as persistently-low fossil fuel prices which leads to higher unemployment numbers.
“Incomes remain strong in the Northeast, but the unemployment rate—although still healthy—is outperformed by much of the province. Population growth and housing starts have also cooled, perhaps because persistently low fossil fuel prices are finally taking their toll. But the relative decline of these communities may speak more to the economic uptick elsewhere in the province than their own shortcomings.”
Despite this economic drop, the report expects an economic rebound as fossil fuel and natural gas projects return to the Peace Region within the next year or so.
“Recent trends in oil and gas suggest that the Northeast is poised for an economic rebound. With fossil fuel prices gradually rising and the LNG Canada consortium moving ahead with its Kitimat export terminal for liquefied natural gas, the production centres of Fort St. John and Dawson Creek will share in the rewards—as will communities on the North Coast.”
The new number one community is Squamish, jumping from number three last year. The report says Squamish edged out Whistler for the top spot. “The Sea-to-Sky Corridor owes its strength to several factors, including fast-rising incomes, generous spending on recreation and booming population growth. Squamish edges out Whistler thanks to one of the province’s busiest home construction markets.
BCBusiness ranks 46 of the Best Cities For Work based on a number of factors, such as employment rates, annual income, and real estate values.
To see the full list of rankings, you can view it here.