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Matching jobs to workers hardest in Thompson-Okanagan

Image Credit: Pexels/Tim Mossholder

One of the hardest places in BC for employers to find qualified workers is the Thompson-Okanagan region.

And one of the toughest places for workers to find jobs that match their skills and expectations is in the Thompson-Okanagan, according to new labour market survey paid for by the BC Chamber of Commerce and the provincial government.

The region ranks number two on both questions but combined it’s not good news for the labour force.

In the Thompson-Okanagan, 78% of employers said it was harder to find qualified candidates this year than before the pandemic. That was second only to the Kootenay region at 79%.

On the flip side, 43% of workers in this region reported it was harder to find jobs than before the pandemic, second to the Northeast at 52%.

READ MORE: Kamloops, Okanagan small business owners burning out from labour shortage

“This survey points out several areas where there is a disconnect between the efforts and expectations of employers and job seekers,” the report says.

One of the biggest disconnects is wages.

“Salary is the most important feature in a job posting for one in two job seekers but 60% of employers do not think salary needs to be posted,” the report says.

That will change as of Nov. 1 when new pay transparency legislation will force employers in BC to include wage or salary ranges for all publicly advertised jobs.

Employers ranked work environment and office culture, additional benefits, work-life balance and opportunity for advancement ahead of salaries as the most important features of job postings.

Workers, on the other hand, ranked salary at the top, followed by work-life balance, additional benefits and opportunity for advancement ahead of the work environment.

Those are provincial findings and, in most categories, the Thompson-Okanagan did not vary far from the provincial average.

In the Thompson-Okanagan, a quick commute (under 30 minutes) was one of the top three features for people looking for work.

READ MORE: StatCan report casts clouds on claims of a widespread labour shortage in Canada

The Thompson-Cariboo region ranked the worst (at 31%) with job seekers who felt they were not offered a position because an employer was not able to accommodate their disability or medical condition. The provincial average was 22%.

The survey involved 2,037 people, including 1,225 job seekers and 812 employers, who were questioned between Feb. 7 and March 3.

The Chamber and Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction will do a follow-up study to look for solutions to the disconnect between workers and employers.

The full survey can be seen here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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