First quarter economic indicators report shows 'strong start to the year' in Vernon

Indicators pointing up

A first quarter economic development report to council shows a "strong start to the year" in Vernon.

The indicators update building activity, values, employment factors and tourism volumes.

"Overall, Q1 development activity shows a very strong start for the year in regards to (building) permit value, and residential units created," the report states.

Building permit value was $58.7 million in the quarter, up 48.6% over 2021.

The increase is attributable to a combination of industrial, commercial, and multi-family project approvals.

A total of 172 residential units were approved for construction in Q1, up 192% over last year.

However, building permit applications are down.

Real estate transactions dropped to 122 in January, down compared to the 2021 peak volume in October of 242.

"This follows similar seasonal patterns in previous years where transaction volumes generally peaked in the fall," the report adds.

Monitoring of online job postings to better understand the local labour market shows the volume of postings in Q1 continues to average about 600 in the city.

Job postings have tripled from January 2016 (185) to January 2022 (637), the report notes.

Full-time posting growth continues to exceed that of part-time positions, and nearly half of the posted jobs identify a need for post-secondary training.

Meanwhile, tourism visitation as measured by hotel tax revenue show a "near average" start to the year when compared to the 2017-2021 monthly average.

The most recent data is from January.

Feedback indicates reservations for the spring and summer are "off to a good start, with many of the properties reporting earlier and more reservation activity than in previous years."

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