Region’s economy slows to a simmer

Global uncertainty hits Greater Victoria, says chamber

Global uncertainty hits Greater Victoria, says chamber

Greater Victoria’s economic growth rate has slumped by as much as one half of what it was prior to the global recession that has crippled cities in other industrial countries, according to the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

Economic growth has shrunk to “a modest two to three per cent” compared to the pre-recession growth rate in Greater Victoria of about four per cent, said Bruce Carter, chamber CEO.

But that’s still large growth compared to many American cities where shopping centres are devoid of customers and stores, and unemployment is nine per cent or higher, he said.

He considers the Capital Region’s six-per-cent jobless rate almost full employment, with many employers complaining they can’t find qualified and experienced workers to fill vacancies.

Carter said employers have told him Greater Victoria’s high housing prices make it difficult to recruit workers from outside the region.

Global economic uncertainty has hammered consumer confidence here and elsewhere, he said, meaning people are spending less and are more careful — making it “a little tougher on the retail side.”

That means “margins are tight” and “everybody is sharpening their pencils” to reduce costs to compensate for lower profits, Carter added.

The tightening economy has affected chamber membership, which Carter said has shrunk slightly and now sits at about 1,500 members out of about 8,000 businesses that serve the region.

However, the region’s strong housing sector and continuous growth in the ever-expanding technology sector, combined with the good summer results for the local tourist accommodation industry, show Greater Victoria is in pretty good shape, Carter said.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

Saanich police search for suspect accused of using stolen credit, debit cards

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers says suspect made numerous fraudulent purchases

Homeless woman sentenced to 18 months in jail for selling drugs to Victoria police officer

Officer paid $20 for a substance consisting of heroin, fentanyl and caffeine

Family restaurant to hold Saturday fundraiser for Beirut blast

Wrap and Roll will donate all sales to victims of blast

Police looking for witnesses of alleged assault in Burnside Gorge’s Cecila Ravine

Concerned woman pushed to the ground, had phone broken while taking a photo of a dog

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

Most Read