The province’s high-tech sector has broken an employment record with more than 101,000 people now working in software development, advanced technology and research around the province.
According to figures released Wednesday by the provincial government, the tech sector, which employs about 20,000 directly in Greater Victoria, employs more people around B.C. than the mining, oil and gas, and forestry sectors combined.
According to B.C. Stats’ Profile of the British Columbia Technology Sector: 2016 Edition, technology now employs 101,700 people earning a weekly average salary of $1,590 – 75 per cent higher than the average wage in B.C. and higher than the Canadian technology sector average of $1,480 per week.
“For the fifth year in a row, B.C. has seen significant growth in its diverse technology industry. We have more technology companies than ever, with more technology workers, earning higher wages than the Canadian technology sector average,” said Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services. “Our #BCTECH strategy is further creating the conditions that are helping the sector continue to grow and thrive.”
B.C.’s tech sector also leads the country in terms of job growth. Employment in the tech sector rose 2.9 per cent, surpassing B.C.’s overall employment growth of 2.5 per cent and national tech sector employment growth of 1.1 per cent.
Technology now employs approximately 4.9 per cent of B.C.’s workforce and is the third-largest tech workforce in Canada.
The gross domestic product of the province’s tech sector grew by 2.4 per cent in 2015, contributing $14.1 billion to B.C.’s overall economic output.
At the same time, tech revenue increased five per cent to a record $26.3 billion.