December 17, 2015 10:05 am
Updated: December 18, 2015 12:00 am

The best cities in BC to work and live in 2016

WATCH: BC Business has released a new study on British Columbia's best cities to work. And as John Hua reports, the results may surprise you.

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According to a new report, Fort St. John is once again the best city in B.C. to maintain a work-life balance.

For the second year, BC Business has ranked 36 communities in B.C. based on their job markets.

The publication looked at core economic indicators – average household income, income growth, population growth, unemployment rate, people with degrees – and added a new indicator of average household income for the under-35 demographic.

Peter Miron, senior research associate with Environics Analytics, who compiled the data for BC Business, says measuring income for the under-35 age group “is a good way of measuring the overall economic health of a community.”

best-cities1For the second year, Fort St. John remains in the number one spot, and this year, Dawson Creek moves up a few spots to number two.

The City of Vancouver, which was in the top 10 last year, has now fallen to number 17.

BC Business looked at the six economic indicators that they believe reflects the health of a city’s job market. Each statistic was then divided or multiplied to come up with a score.

WATCH: Matt O’Grady from BC Business has more details on the best cities in BC to work and live.

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Five-year average household income growth: Data from 2010 to 2015. They use a floor of 0 and a ceiling of 30 to arrive at a score out of 30.

Average household income: This figure is data from 2015. They took the raw number and divided it by 10,000 to arrive at a score of 15.

Average household income under 35: This data is from 2015. They took the raw number and divided it by 10,000 to arrive at a score of 15.

Five-year population growth: This data is from 2010 to 2015. They use a floor of 0 and a ceiling of 10 to arrive at a score out of 10.

Unemployment rate: This figure uses the unemployment rate from the September 2015 Labour Market Survey. They started with the number 10 and subtracted the community’s unemployment rate.

Percentage of households with university degrees: This compiles data from 2015 and caps the score out of 20.

best-cities2Not all of the cities in B.C. were considered for the list – only cities with more than 10,000 permanent residents were looked at. Bedroom communities were also excluded, such as West Vancouver, Port Moody and White Rock, which have high incomes but relatively small job markets.

UBC was also not considered.

Prince Rupert, number 36 last year, and Terrace, number 34 last year, are 24 and 25 this year respectively. BC Business says a big reason for the rise is their five-year income growth, which is over 20 per cent in each case.

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