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Cranbrook climbs to No. 12 as Best City for Work in B.C

The largest city in southeastern B.C. is attracting more skilled workers and entrepreneurs with its affordability and lifestyle

downtown cranbrook bc
Cranbrook is a thriving city in southeastern B.C. with a population of 20,047.

BC Business magazine recently released its 2018 list of the Best Cities for Work in B.C. Based on a comparison of 36 cities, Cranbrook ranks 12th, up five spots since last year.

The magazine, with the help of Environics Analytics, looks at cities with more than 10,000 permanent residents. It takes into consideration seven economic indicators, including the average household income, average household spending on recreation, average shelter costs, five-year population growth and five-year income growth—which, according to the magazine’s methodology, is a major contributing factor in Cranbrook’s rising popularity.

“We measure a city’s attractiveness as a place to work by putting a two-thirds weighting on how much residents earn and where income is heading,” states the magazine.

At 21.58 per cent, Cranbrook’s five-year income growth is at least two per cent higher than most top 10 cities on the list. Not surprisingly, the top 10 is dominated by cities in the Lower Mainland as well as northeastern oil-and-gas powerhouses, such as Fort St. John, which topped the list at No. 1.

To better gauge the quality of life, this year, the magazine added an eighth indicator: the percentage of residents who bike or walk to work. Again, Cranbrook’s percentage was higher than most cities in the top 10. The city’s average shelter spending or housing-related living expenses were also less than all but two cities in the top 10: Terrace and Prince Rupert.

Here are the numbers for Cranbrook:

  • Average household income: $102,582
  • Average household income for primary earners under 35: $77,702
  • Average household spending on recreation: $4,590
  • Average shelter spending: $20,987
  • Residents who bike or walk to work: 5.84%
  • Five-year population growth: 3.72%
  • Five-year income growth: 21.58%
  • Unemployment rate: 8.10%

So according to BC Business magazine, Cranbrook is one of the best places to work in 2018.

With a population under 10,000, Kimberley (pop. 7,782) wasn’t included on the list, but Cranbrook’s economic partner and next-door neighbour is more than keeping pace.

“Kimberley and Cranbrook are two of the fastest growing communities in B.C. as people are quickly realizing that it is hard to beat the locale and the lifestyle,” said local employer Ted Funston, who is the area manager of Kimberley Alpine Resort and Trickle Creek Golf Resort. “This means that, in addition to the many skilled and friendly locals who already live and work here, the area is quickly gaining many more trained and motivated young families and active retirees. These people are coming here with a hard-working entrepreneurial spirit that is good for all of us.”