Economic prospects for Kamloops/Cariboo uncertain
The geographical area that CPABC’s Kamloops/Cariboo Chapter covers spans into two development regions: Thompson-Okanagan and Cariboo. Both of these regions are highly resource-dependent and had a challenging year in 2016:
1. Job losses occurred in both regions. In the Thompson-Okanagan, there was a net loss of 1,700 jobs, while the Cariboo suffered a net loss of 600 jobs. As a result, unemployment increased to 6.4% and 7.4% in the Thompson-Okanagan and Cariboo respectively.
2. The value of major projects declined by 6.6% to $22.4 billion, in the Thompson-Okanagan and by 7.8% to $10.7 billion in the Cariboo, between the third quarters of 2015 and 2016. The decline follows the overall provincial trend, which saw a decrease of 2.7% to $437.7 billion over the same period.
Looking at 2017, economic prospects for the two regions are mixed, due to uncertainty around global commodity demand and potential trade policy changes. However, analysts are positive about the outlook for copper, which is good news for the Cariboo. Impacted by recent weather conditions, it is uncertain whether the Thompson-Okanagan will be able to recover the economic losses it had in 2016.