B.C. residents sour on economy, says survey 0
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People moping around concerned about their finances in British Columbia are not alone.
According to a new survey of 600 people conducted by Angus Reid for Simon Fraser University, more than half of the people in the province are feeling sour about B.C.’s economy.
The same 54% also think their parents were in a much better personal financial situation than they are themselves.
“Interestingly enough there was a high level of optimism about the future of B.C.’s economy over the next decade,” said project leader Prof. Daniel Savas. “Nonetheless, I think there’s some other things in there that suggest people are having a hard time of it right now.”
Savas said people seem to still be stinging from the 2008 financial crisis and feel they haven’t gotten back to where they were before it hit.
Interior residents were a little more likely to say the economy is in poor shape than those in the Lower Mainland, the survey found.
But Savas said the survey also found many British Columbians are not economically savvy and didn’t know financial services and retail are the top employers in the province.
“It’s not a huge positive sign when only a quarter of your population can identify the sector that’s employing the most people in British Columbia,” Savas said. “There’s this lack of economic literacy in the B.C. population for what are the drivers that are keeping the economy afloat.”
Stephen Von Sychowski of the B.C. Federation of Labour’s Young Workers’ Committee said it’s no surprise young people in particular aren’t bullish on the economy.
“A lot of the traditionally good-paying jobs are sort of withering away in B.C. and across the country,” said Von Sychowski. “Folks are being pushed more and more into a shopping mall economy. We don’t so much make things here anymore, but we sell them. So people are working in retail and the service sector.”
He said such positions are largely low paying, part time or casual and can’t sustain a family.
The SFU survey was conducted between June 28 and July 3 this year.