Population balloons to 90,000+

People relocating to the city for work has pushed up Chilliwack's population once again, according to the latest statistics.

Chilliwack’s population has swelled to 90,240 residents as people continue to relocate here, according to the recently released 2011 National Household Survey data from Statistics Canada.

Also, following the provincial trend, more people in the city are stepping into offices to work at desk jobs than ever before.

Employment in agriculture and other primary industries fell two points since 2006, now making up only four per cent of the labour force for an industry that uses up 64 per cent of local land and generates six per cent of the city’s GDP.

Jobs in the trades also fell slightly in that time period, now making up 18 per cent of jobs, down from one-fifth in 2006.

The sales and services are still the largest employer, providing jobs to a quarter of Chilliwack’s working adults. And double as many people are working in education, community and government services, these jobs now accounting for 14 per cent of the labour force.

Chilliwackians have not changed how they get to work, and the city’s labour force remains very car dependent, with 91 per cent of people driving to work. About six per cent walk or bike, and one per cent use public transit. It took residents an average of 16 minutes to get to work.

They are also slightly less likely to work at home than before. Instead, most people – 76 per cent of the total labour force – commute to a regular workplace, while 15 per cent have no fixed work address. Only seven per cent of people in the labour market aren’t working.

In the last seven years, there has been a marked increase in how many people complete a formal education. Now, only 21 per cent of adults had no certificate, diploma, or degree. That’s a decrease from a quarter of all adults in 2006. While residents are more likely to head to university than before, it’s not necessarily for a four-year degree. University-level diplomas and certificates remain popular. There hasn’t been a change in the percentage of people electing for colleges and apprenticeships, still steady at 31 per cent.

The most common fields of study remain architecture and engineering, health, and business and public administration.

akonevski@theprogress.com
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