High tech employs more BC workers than mining and forestry combined

There are 29% more people employed in BC's high tech sector than employed in mining, forestry and oil and gas combined, reports BC Stats.

According to Profile of the British Columbia High Technology Sector: 2013 Edition,  the high technology sector employs 84,100 while mining, forestry and oil and gas combined employs 65,100.

High tech is still smaller than overall goods-producing industry. When construction and other manufacturing are added, the goods-producing sector in BC employs 305,600 people compared to high tech's 84,100.

BC Stats classifies high tech jobs as businesses that are "cutting edge and is usually associated with strong economic growth and advanced technological development." Some service industry examples are engineering, computer services, motion picture and video production, surveying and mapping. More than two-thirds of the high technology jobs are located in the southwest region of the province.

The high tech sector, which contributes 7.6% of the province's GDP, is still relatively small compared to central Canada and the states south of us. In Washington State, high tech accounts for 18% of GDP.

Other study highlights:

  • "British Columbia’s high technology employment ranks fourth in the country. Ontario leads the way with 324,090 employed in the high tech sector, or 41% of all Canadian high tech workers. Quebec is home to 29% of the country’s high tech employees, more than Alberta (11%), B.C. (11%) and Manitoba (2%) combined.
  • "The bulk of Canada’s high technology sector resides in central Canada. Ontario’s high tech sector generated $44.2 billion in GDP in 2012, accounting for 39% of the Canadian total. Quebec ranked second with $24.7 billion in high tech GDP, followed by B.C. with $14.0 billion. Alberta’s high tech GDP was also $14.0 billion, but it was about $4 million shy of B.C.’s total. The output from B.C.’s high tech sector comprised around 12% of total Canadian high tech GDP in 2012.
  • "High technology comprises a much larger portion of the United States’ economy compared to the high tech sector in Canada. Almost 11% of the United States’ GDP was generated by the high tech sector in 2012, or nearly $1.7 trillion. By comparison, high tech comprised just over 8% of Canada’s GDP and Canadian high tech output was around 8% of the U.S. total.
  • "In 2011, the states where the high technology sector contributed the most to GDP were Oregon, Washington and Colorado. The high tech sector is responsible for around 18% of Washington State's GDP."

Hat tip, Georgia Strait. Creative Commons image by Maria Ly.