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Survey Result Highlights

Employer Profile

  • Mature tenure of organizations - average 7.25 years in operation; 60% in operation 10 years or more.
  • Local ownership - 83% are locally owned.
  • Large portion are independent organizations - 21% home-based businesses; 36.4% independent (not home-based, not affiliated); and many of the 18% that chose "other" are independent.
  • Top sectors in terms of number of organizations are: Retail (14%); Social Services (7.8%); Accommodation and Food Services (6.5%); Construction (6.5%); Health Care (5.5%), Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (5.5%); Finance and Insurance (4.9%); Forestry and Logging (4.2%); and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (4.2%).
  • Most (62%) organizations do not employ or contract with a human resources practitioner.


  • Over the last 2 years, 42% of organizations’ full-time workforce stayed the same; and 21.3% and 17.9% experienced some degree of growth or contraction, respectively. Sixty-two percent of organizations have no seasonal employees; of those that did, more saw some growth than some reduction.
  • Respondents employ/contract a total of 5,772.9 workers. Almost two-thirds (64.3%) are full-time, 11.6% are part- time, 15.1% are seasonal and 9% are contracted. According to accepted statistics, Campbell River’s workforce is about 5,700; the responding employers employ over 3,700 full-time workers, very sizeable portion of the total base.
  • More employers were optimistic than pessimistic about the change in their workforce size over the next 2 years. Almost 30% expect their full-time workforces to increase moderately or significantly; only 5% think it will decrease significantly or moderately. They are also generally are more optimistic for part-time and seasonal employees and contract workers.
  • The largest number of workers are in Sales and Service jobs (1886.7 or 28.5% of total), Occupations Unique to Primary Industry (1,518.4 or 22.9%), Occupations in Art/Culture/Recreation/Sport (805 or 12.2%), and Business/Finance/Administration (677.5 or 10.2%).

Business Competitiveness

  • While 47.3% of responding employers experienced a moderate or significant increase in revenue over the last 12 months, 40.4% experienced a decline. However, they were much more optimistic for the next 12 months with 52% and 16% experience some degree of an increase in revenue and some degree of a decrease, respectively.
  • Almost 70% of employers indicate they generate 50% to 100% of their revenue from within Campbell River.
  • Quality of life was rated as having a positive impact on operations by over 47% of employers, while 63.2% and 40% of them indicated the local economy and competition from outside the city, respectively, were negative factors.

Workforce Attraction and Recruitment

  • One-third or 85 responding employers indicated they have had 1 or more difficult-to-fill job vacancy in the last 12 months. This totaled 621 vacancies or an average of 7.3 per employer reporting vacancies. Two-thirds of these were in Primary Occupations (51.4%) and Sales and Service Occupations (15.8%). Surprisingly, Health jobs (0.3%) and Natural and Applied Science jobs (1.9%) accounted for a very small portion of vacancies (14 in total).
  • The main challenges in trying to recruit workers into the difficult-to-fill positions were an inability to attract qualified people, not being able to afford expected compensation of workers, and competition from other employers. Eleven percent of employers experienced no barriers to recruiting.
  • The most prevalent impacts of these vacancies are staff/business owner having to work more hours, reduced customer service, and limited production levels.
  • The job categories in which the highest proportion of respondents expects moderate or significant growth over the next 2 years are Sales and Service (35.2%), Management (24.4%), Business/Finance/ Administration (21.6%). Almost one in five employers (~18%) expects Primary and Trades/Transport/Equipment Operator occupations to experience growth.
  • Employers rated word-of-mouth (63.3%) and staff referrals (55.6%) as the most effective methods of recruiting; jobs posted with community agencies and newspaper postings were seen as very or somewhat effective by 41% of employers.
  • Tax credits were the most frequent response by employers (30% of them) to help them address recruiting challenges. Significant but less popular were more relevant training in high school, more accessible apprenticeship training, employment referral services, and more relevant college/university training.
  • In terms of hiring from particular labour force groups, almost three-quarters (74.3%) of employers have either hired Aboriginal people or would hire from this group with or without assistance. A further 12% "might" hire from this group. Comparatively, for hiring women, the numbers were 88.4% and 8.8%, respectively; and for older workers they were 74.2% and 13.4%, respectively. All other groups had lower numbers, including youth, immigrants, visible minorities and persons with disabilities. The latter group had the lowest at 48.3% and 18%, respectively.
  • When asked what kind of assistance would help them hire from these groups, the most frequent response (17.2% of responding employers) was "none of these options." Wage subsidies were favoured by 16.9% and referral and screening, training support and development of training programs/resources were favoured by almost 16% each.

Education and Training

  • Sixty-eight percent of employers have no annual training plan or needs analysis.
  • Fifty-one percent of employers indicate at least of half of their workforce participates in job-related education and training each year; 23% indicated that 100% of their workforce does so. The most frequent types of job-related learning reported by respondents were in-house training (57.7%), off-site workshops (37.2%) and off-site education programs (35%).
  • The biggest barriers to worker training reported by employers were: lack of locally available education and training (32.7%); needed training does not exist anywhere (21.5%); and an inability to free up employees to attend education or training (20.9%). The most popular responses to the question of how service providers could enhance their delivery were: flexible scheduling of programs; online/videoconference formats; and modularized (small chunks) programs.
  • Half of employers invest in 1 to 25 hours of job-related learning per employee per year; 23.7% indicated 26-100 hours per employee per year; and 11 (5.4%) employers indicated they provide 100 hours or more of training per employee per year.
  • Almost two-in-five (59.7%) of employers spend $1,000 or less per employee per year on job-related learning, including 11% or 22 employers who spend nothing on this. Twelve percent (24) of employers reported spending $2,500 or more per employee per year on such learning, including 6 employers who indicated $10,000 or more per employee.


  • The top barriers to retention reported by responding employers are: having to offer steady employment; and providing the expected compensation. Surprisingly, "infrastructure" issues such as housing, community services, transportation and child care, as well as working conditions and retirements all were identified by only a handful of employers in each case. Almost half (49%) of employers indicated a 5% or lower turnover rate, however over 25% had a rate of 11% or higher. Eleven (6%) organizations did not know their turnover rate.
  • Surprisingly, 72.4% of responding employers reported zero retirements in their workforce in the last 2 years; of course there may have been other attrition from involuntary layoffs due to down-sizing. Ninety-one percent of employers predict that 10% or less of their workforce will retire over the next 2 years.
  • The most effective strategies for retaining employees identified by responding employers were scheduled wage increases (98 employers), extended benefits (75), career development and advancement and performance bonuses (67 each), and recognition and reward programs (65).

Information and Planning

  • Information on government programs and labour market information specific to Campbell River and their sector were identified by 29.8% and 21.6% of employers, respectively, as types of information that would help them with their human resource activities. Information on emerging industries, declining industries and local demographics were seen as the most important types of labour market information for responding employers.
  • There was relatively low awareness of government programs among employers. The Targeted Wage Subsidy Program was recognized by 47.5% of employers, however even this is a low level of awareness. Even though earlier in the survey employers identified tax credits as a top type of assistance, only 52% of employers were aware of the BC Training Tax Credit Program, and 42% (or four-fifths of those aware of it) of these had not used it.


  • Overall:
    • Surprising levels of business confidence and evidence of resilience (maybe a feeling that the worst is over).
    • Turnover and retirements do not show up as an issue in the immediate future.
    • A disconnect with education and training providers on a variety of levels.
    • Government funding programs including tax credits are sought after.
    • There are concerns about productivity in general as well as life skills for youth.
    • More specific, focused conclusions and recommendations to be in the analytical report.
Question 7. Which industry sector represents your organizations major line of business
Industry SectorNumber% of Total
Forestry and Logging134.21%
Oil and Gas Extraction00.00%
Mining and Quarrying (except Oil and Gas)20.65%
Support Activities for Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction00.00%
Wholesale Trade41.29%
Retail Trade4414.24%
Information and Cultural Industries30.97%
Finance and Insurance154.85%
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing82.59%
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services175.50%
Administrative and Support10.32%
Waste Management and Remediation Services00.00%
Educational and Training Services92.9%
Health Care185.80%
Social Services247.77%
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation134.21%
Accommodation and Food Services206.47%
Public Administration51.62%
Other (please specify)7223.30%
Totals311 100.0%