Prince Ge­orge in­comes above pro­vin­cial, na­tional lev­els

The Prince George Citizen - - FRONT PAGE - Mark NIELSEN Cit­i­zen staff

Prince Ge­orge house­holds con­tinue to rake in more money than most in the coun­try.

Ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from the 2016 cen­sus, re­leased this week by Statis­tics Canada, the me­dian in­come for the city and sur­round­ing area stood at $78,427.

The fig­ure is sig­nif­i­cantly above $69,995 tal­lied for the Bri­tish Columbia and $70,336 for Canada.

The out­come fol­lows a trend seen for years.

“Prince Ge­orge has con­sis­tently seen higher me­dian in­come than the pro­vin­cial and na­tional lev­els,” said city eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Melissa Bar­cel­los. “We’ve re­mained steady and it looks like we con­tinue to do so over the last cen­sus.”

She cred­ited the re­gion’s nat­u­ral re­source economy and the jobs it creates in con­struc­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing for the dif­fer­ence.

“Those are typ­i­cally higher-paid jobs,” she said.

“As well, Prince Ge­orge be­ing a ser­vice hub for the re­gion, there are lots of pro­fes­sional ser­vices as well. From banks and fi­nanc­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions to en­gi­neer­ing, en­vi­ron­men­tal com­pa­nies, those are all highly-skilled, highly-paid po­si­tions.”

The num­ber will work as a sell­ing point when try­ing to draw more tal­ent to the city.

“The fact peo­ple make more money here but it still costs less to live is def­i­nitely one of our key mes­sages that we spread far and wide,” Bar­cel­los said.

The me­dian in­come for Metro Van­cou­ver is about $73,000. Also, com­pared to Metro Van­cou­ver, the cost of hous­ing is no­tice­ably less ex­pen­sive as is the cost of gas.

“Less time stuck in traf­fic too,” Bar­cel­los noted.

If there is a cause for con­cern, it’s that in­come growth has been slower in Prince Ge­orge. Since 2005, it’s gone up about eight per cent, com­pared to 12 per cent for B.C. and 11 per cent for Canada.

“We’re in­creas­ing at a lit­tle bit of a slower rate but Prince Ge­orge has been re­ally steady and con­sis­tent whereas a lot of ar­eas through­out Canada saw a much slower in­crease for a few years and now they could be con­sid­ered to be re­bound­ing,” Bar­cel­los said.

The me­dian is the level at which half of house­holds are above and half be­low the num­ber. The av­er­age house­hold in­come was not pro­vided by Statcan.

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