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RDCO: Economic indicators reaffirm Kelowna’s rapid growth

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RDCO: Economic indicators reaffirm Kelowna’s rapid growth
RDCO: Economic indicators reaffirm Kelowna’s rapid growth – Feb 11, 2022

Kelowna is the fastest growing Census Metropolitan Area in the country, and many different economic factors are the driving force behind that title.

A business advisory council has released economic indicator reports that coincide with Statistics Canada’s new census.

“The report we issued is comparing 2020 to 2021 data. And what we found in 2020-21, the region grew by 2.6 per cent. So certainly that is a large growth rate that mirrors what we see with the census,” said Krista Mallory, the Regional District of Central Okanagan economic development manager.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan business advisory council’s report has a few stand out statistics for the region.

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“The number of people in the labour force remained about flat; it was down about a half a per cent from last year. Also the number of people who had jobs and who were working rose by 1.5 per cent, and at the same time, the really interesting number of job postings were up 42.5 per cent compared to last year,” said Mallory.

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The RDCO report shows job postings in the health care and social assistance industry rose by 187 per cent from 2020.

The report also shows a side effect of the rapidly expanding community, and the stresses it can put on an already taxed real estate market.

“When you look at resale, all MLS listings in the region, the median home price was up 25.3 per cent, so that’s certainly a concern,” said Mallory.

The Downtown Kelowna Association said it is feeling the growth as well.

“We do see the amount of residential going up in downtown Kelowna. With all these new buildings going on around, we also have a certain amount of (new) commercial spaces at the ground level,” said Mark Burley, Downtown Kelowna Association’s executive director.

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The downtown association also says its been hard for them to find new employees, as the report indicates a very low unemployment rate, coupled with an extremely high number of job postings.

“Downtown on call is always where we can add more people, and we’ve had ads all over the place and have had very few applicants,” said Burley.

We’ve even gone as far as to say we will cover the training, the license, the security license, that’s requested to be a downtown on-call employee but we still haven’t had any reaction to that at all.”

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