Demand for IT Services in BC
The demand for IT services in British Columbia is high, making Annex busier than we have ever been in the company’s 20-year history!
As a leader, advisor and partner to many of BC’s private and public-sector organizations, Annex understands why the Vancouver IT market is booming along with the economic growth and increasing global recognition of the city:
GDP and unemployment
- British Columbia has averaged 3.5% GDP growth over the last four years. BC was #1 in Canada for GDP growth in 2015 and 2016 and #2 in the country for GDP growth in 2017. According to multiple Canadian national banks, BC’s GDP growth will rank in the top two in Canada in both 2018 and 2019.
- In the last two years, BC’s employment growth averaged 3.4% annually, a level not seen since the mid-1990s. Unemployment dropped to 4.8% in late 2017, a 9-year low, and is forecasted at 5% in BC in 2018, the lowest among all Canadian provinces.
Recognition in the city
- In March 2017, Startup Genome released the Global Startup Ecosystem Report in which it named Vancouver as Canada’s top startup city and #15 globally.
- In August 2017, CEOWorld magazine published a list of the 25 most high-tech cities in the world, and Vancouver was ranked #14.
- In August 2017, World Economic Forum and Business Insider listed the 25 Most High-Tech Cities in the World, and Vancouver was in the #9 position.
- In November 2017, Expert Market released its list of the Top Tech Hubs in the World to live and work, and Vancouver was ranked #10, ahead of cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle and Sydney.
Hiring in Vancouver
A number of high-profile companies are in the midst of local hiring sprees:
- In August 2017, Amazon signed a lease for 147,000 square feet of office space in Vancouver, enough for 1,000 new employees, bringing their total office space in Vancouver to approximately 900,000 square feet.
- In September 2017, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer, said that the company thinks of Vancouver as its second home. Microsoft employs 800 people in Vancouver and Smith said he sees opportunities to grow in the city and doesn’t see a cap to the number of jobs the company could create here. Microsoft expects to do a lot of hiring in 2018 and beyond.
- In September 2017, Fortinet announced it will create 1,000 new tech jobs in Vancouver in its new state-of-the-art data centre. Much of this hiring will be done in 2018.
- In November 2017, Facebook released its plan to take two floors of 200 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver, or about 36,000 square feet, enough for 250 employees.
- In May 2018, Amazon was back in the news announcing that they are hiring 3,000 more employees in Vancouver.
Position and candidate shortages
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) predicts a shortage of 216,000 ICT positions in Canada by 2021, including a shortage of 20,000 people in BC. Annex believes BC will face that shortage sooner than 2021.
It’s a good time for the tech industry in Vancouver. Our economy is strong and getting stronger, tech startups are popping up left, right and centre, we have renowned companies building offices here, and there is a high demand for IT and management consulting professionals.
What more could we ask for? Talent. It’s no secret that growth attracts talent, but we can’t keep up. Vancouver, and the rest of North America, is experiencing a shortage of talent, from software developers to project managers and everything in between.
So what can we do? Check out this message from Annex President and CEO, Stacey Cerniuk, to find out.