Worsening labour shortages stifling BC manufacturing sector growth and recovery
Business in Vancouver
Labour shortages risk undermining the recovery of B.C.’s manufacturing sector, which posted the strongest job gains in more than two decades in 2012. According to Statistics Canada, the number of people employed in the sector rose 9.3% last year – to 179,000 jobs from 164,000 in 2011 – the largest year-over-year increase since at least 1990.
Some of that growth has come from fast-growing firms like Richmond’s Corvus Energy, a three-year-old manufacturer of industrial batteries that doubled its number of staff last year to nearly 50. (See “Richmond firm lights up industrial battery sector” – BIV issue 1215; February 5-11.)
Corvus CEO Brent Perry plans to increase the size of the company’s staff by another 50% to help it service the growing demand for its heavy-duty rechargeable lithium ion batteries.