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Kelowna a good place to work?

A recent analysis has pegged Kelowna as the 17th best city to work in BC.

BC Business magazine laid out seven pieces of criteria used to evaluate which communities are best to work in.

Fort St John came in first, Kelowna landed in 17th and Prince Rupert came in last out of the top 36 communities for work in BC.

The seven economic indicators are: five-year income growth, average household income, five-year population growth, unemployment, labour participation, people with degrees and people taking transit.

Kelowna's five-year income growth came in at almost 15 per cent higher today than in 2009 for an average household income of $83,949.

The five-year population growth was 7.05 per cent and unemployment was at 8 per cent.

The rest of the numbers follow: 

  • Labour participation: 64.24 per cent 
  • People with degrees: 16.58 per cent
  • People taking transit: 3.40 per cent
  • Score: 49.62

Ken Carmichael, vice president of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce said the evaluation was too narrow.

"If we're 17 in the list of places to work, I put us right at the top for best places to live and work," he said. "Everyone could probably get a crazy job somewhere else, but I want to live here and raise my family here." 

BC Business said they only considered cities with more than 10,000 permanent residents. Bedroom communities such as West Vancouver, Port Moody and White Rock, which have high incomes but small job markets were excluded.

In their explanation, BC Business said they used a Toronto-based analytics firm which takes data from Statistics Canada. 

"And what we found was a pattern: the cities with higher incomes also tended to have the lowest unemployment. They tended to have growing populations. In short, no matter how we sliced the data, our ranking remained relatively unchanged. Metro Vancouver dominated the top of the list alongside boom towns Fort St. John and Dawson Creek. On the other end: cities like Prince Rupert and Terrace, whose fishing and forestry industries have lumbered through a decade of decline. Yet even there, at the centre of a hoped-for LNG boom, the fortunes of those northwestern cities—and their positions on our list—could shift dramatically in the years to come."

Here are the numbers for Prince Rupert and Fort St John:

36. Prince Rupert
Income growth: 9.92 per cent 
Average household income: $75,617 
Population growth: -1.06 per cent 
Unemployment: 14.58 per cent 
Labour participation: 67.24 per cent 
People with degrees: 14.81 per cent 
People taking transit: 4.00 per cent
Score: 32.42 

1. Fort St. John
Income growth: 18.20 per cent 
Average household income: $109,748 
Population growth: 6.34 per cent 
Unemployment: 5.89 per cent 
Labour participation: 81.18 per cent 
People with degrees: 9.84 per cent 
People taking transit: 0.32 per cent
Score: 60.67

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