British Columbia is facing a difficult second quarter as new cases of COVID-19 rose dramatically into April. Although new cases are now declining, heavier restrictions remain in place. However, with many households and businesses having adjusted to life with COVID-19, and with vaccination in the province under way, B.C.’s real GDP is forecast to grow by 6.0 per cent in 2021.
Until recently, B.C.’s labour market had managed to avoid dipping downward since its initial plunge last spring. However, the new restrictions have set back some of these gains. In Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: British Columbia’s Two-Year Outlook, we forecast that total employment in the province is still on track to grow by 6.1 per cent this year. However, the province’s accommodation and food services industry has taken another hit following these restrictions, and output in that sector is not expected to reach its pre-pandemic level until 2022.