Five years have passed after the end of the Great Recession but both BC and Canada as a whole are very far away from a meaningful recovery in the labour market.
Headline unemployment rates are not terrible (6.1% in BC and 6.8% in Canada) but fewer people are looking for work and part-time positions are increasingly replacing full-time jobs. In fact, the closer you look at the job market the worse the picture gets.
It’s clear that the BC Jobs Plan has failed to deliver. Many British Columbians recognize that the provincial government’s economic strategy—narrowly focused on boosting resource-extraction industries like mining and LNG—puts all our eggs in one basket. The strategy is both economically and environmentally risky.
But what else, some ask, can be done to create meaningful, sustainable, family-supporting jobs in BC?
I turned to leading thinkers in our broader network with this question and asked each of them to submit a single idea they have for fostering good jobs in our province.
They offer a wide range of solutions to create good jobs—including new government-led initiatives, policy changes that remove existing barriers or enable British Columbians to tap into new opportunities, and action items for businesses and individuals. The list is long, showcasing the great potential of our province and its people.
While there is no silver bullet, there is a widespread agreement that governments can and should play an important role in steering economic activity towards a more innovative and diverse economy that serves the public interest. Indeed, this is the only way to move forward.
Here’s a list of 31 ideas that would create good jobs in BC. You can click on each idea to read the details.
- Promote Co-ops as a Business Model
- Expand BC Hydro’s PowerSmart Program
- Buy Local
- Set Up New Crown Corporations
- Invest in Training
- Develop an Industrial Strategy for the Creative Sector
- Pay a Living Wage
- Implement the $10/Day Child Care Plan
- Use the Carbon Tax for Green Public Infrastructure Investments
- Create a Public Bank with a Local Development Mandate
- Transform the “Poor Jobs”
- Facilitate Knowledge Exchange between Universities, Business, Communities and Government
- Focus on Green Jobs for Youth
- Harness the Promise of Social Enterprise with Enabling Legislation
- Use Public School Infrastructure to Provide Quality Childcare
- Institute Precarity Pay
- Redesign the Economy to Respect the Ecosystem
- Develop a Youth Jobs Initiative
- Turn All Farm Jobs into Good Jobs
- Guarantee a Basic Income
- Create a New Urban-Rural Economic Development Initiative
- Green the Resource Industries
- Start Co-ops
- Adopt Green Procurement Policies in Hospitals and Long-term Care Homes
- Establish Province-Wide Elderly Care Standards
- Support Co-operatively Run Businesses
- Fund and Build Affordable Housing
- Invest in Public Education
- Move Towards Greener, Carbon-Focused Forest Management
- Implement a Youth Guarantee
- Avoid Groupthink by Looking at the Data
Do you have a good jobs idea for BC? Share it in the Comments section!