Why we wrote this report
Heading into the 2017 B.C. provincial election we were hearing a lot about how, according to the incumbent government, British Columbia had the strongest economy in Canada.
But that claim didn't ring true for huge swathes of the province's population struggling with out-of-control housing costs and stagnant or declining earnings.
We wrote this report to show that for young people, B.C. actually has the worst performing economy in Canada, when you measure more of what actually matters.
- Gross domestic product (GDP) and employment indicators are insufficient metrics to evaluate the performance of the B.C. economy.
- It's better to judge an economy by looking at whether it requires more, or less, work from citizens to cover major costs of living, and whether it is sustainable. By these measures, B.C.'s economy is failing younger people.
- Full-time earnings have fallen more in B.C. than any other province since 1976–80. It’s particularly bad for residents age 25–44 who now earn $8,000 to $10,000 less (adjusting for inflation).
- B.C. has lost control of home prices more than any province. It took five years of full-time work to save a 20 per cent down-payment on an average home in 1976–80. It took eight years when the B.C. Liberals came to power in 2001. At the time of this report it took 19 years. Average rents have also risen sharply.
- B.C. has traded relatively low levels of public debt for skyrocketing private debt.
- B.C. is home to the highest rates of early childhood vulnerability in the country. This means a greater portion of our children are at risk to fail, go to jail and wind up sick as adults.
- B.C greenhouse gas emissions are ~10 times higher than what is sustainable for the coming decades.
- Like visuals? This infographic sums things up.