How We Crunched the Numbers
To compile the B.C.'S Best Cities for Work ranking, we considered seven economic indicators, giving them a variety of weightings. This year's methodology also includes an eighth indicator that speaks to quality of life: the proportion of residents who walk or bike to work. We didn't factor in people who use public transit to get to their jobs because it would give an unfair advantage to Vancouver and other cities with extensive transit systems.
Average household income (10% of total score)
This figure represents the average for 2017. To determine a score out of 10, we gave the top average income 10 points and ranked the other cities in relation to that.
Average household income under 35 (10%)
This number represents the 2017 average household income for primary income earners under the age of 35. Again, we gave the highest average 10 points and ranked other communities accordingly.
Average household spending on recreation (10%)
Boats, cable bills, concert tickets, vacations— this tally encompasses all leisure-enhancing household purchases that Statistics Canada tracks. Giving the city with the highest average household recreational spending a 10, we ranked the others in relation to it.
Average shelter (current consumption) costs (15%)
This number covers housing-related living expenses such as mortgage payments, rent and repairs for 2017. We divided average household income by current shelter costs, multiplying that total by two for a score out of 15.
Residents who walk or bike to work (10%)
To calculate this score, we divided the number of residents in each community who travel to work by the number who walk or bike, for a percentage out of 10.
Five-year population growth (10%)
This number covers the increase from 2012 to 2017. We show the percentage growth, with a floor of zero and a maximum score of 10.
Five-year average household income growth (25%)
This figure represents percentage income growth from 2012 through 2017. Giving the expansion a floor of zero, we scored it out of 25.
Unemployment rate (10%)
This number uses the unemployment rate from Statscan's Labour Force Survey for September 2017. We multiplied each community's unemployment rate by two and subtracted that amount from 20, giving a maximum score of 10.