employment by industry


The graph above shows employment by industry sector in Nanaimo. Service industries account for much of Nanaimo’s employment base. The greatest number of jobs are provided by the retail sector followed by health and social services, reflecting Nanaimo’s position as a regional service centre for central and northern Vancouver Island. Business services, government services, and education further support this role. Construction sector and tourism activity has been growing, accounting for approximately 9% of employment in each sector. The professional, scientific and technical sector also saw growth of over 6% from the 2006 Census.

employment by occupation

The graph above shows the number of people employed in various occupations in Nanaimo. Sales and service jobs account for nearly 27% of Nanaimo’s employment base. These occupations include sales people in retail, real estate, food & beverage, and accommodation services. Trades & transportation related jobs are the second highest concentration. Business, finance, and administration occupations include business and financial professionals and support staff such as secretaries and clerks.

labour force participation rate

The labour force participation rate measures the share of the population 15 years and over that are in the labour force. Regions with younger populations tend to have higher labour force participation rates while those with older populations have lower rates. Participation rates also tend to fall during recessions and rise during expansions. Nanaimo’s labour force participation rate for 2015 was 51.6%. This is a reflection of the older age structure of Nanaimo’s population and is consistent with historical patterns in the region. The variability in Nanaimo’s participation rate is likely related to sampling error in the labour force survey.

unemployment  rate

Nanaimo’s unemployment rate is consistently below Vancouver Island, BC and the Canadian average.