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Apr 15, 2024 | Blog

Report Release: Labour Market Research on the Non-Profit Sector in British Columbia

Vantage Point, in partnership with SPARC BC and supported by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, is proud to release our latest report titled “Labour Market Research on the Non-Profit Sector in BC.”

The report delves into the current state of British Columbia’s non-profit labor market, aiming to fill the gaps in knowledge since the last examination nearly a decade ago. It seeks to support decision-making in the non-profit sector, enhancing its resilience, sustainability, and impact, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We compiled data by examining employment within BC’s non-profit sector across various sub-sectors, activities, categories of workers, contributions to the provincial workforce, and trends over time. Leveraging a mixed-methods approach, the study combines secondary data analysis with insights gained through interviews and focus groups.

The report aims to update data on BC’s non-profit workforce, by examining differences across various types of organizations, forecasting labor demand during the economic recovery, and building an understanding of worker mobility, job precarity and working conditions and compensation.


Our key findings revealed that the British Columbia non-profit sector employs approximately 335,000 individuals, with significant involvement in health, education and research, and social services (categorization based on activity). Despite stability in the number of non-profit organizations, there is a notable decrease in those without employees, indicating growth in larger organizations.

The report explores challenges in the sector around recruiting and retaining staff, job precarity, working conditions, changing volunteer landscape, stress and burnout, and rising cost of living persisting within the sector. The data also shows that women dominate the workforce, while representation from immigrant, racialized, and Indigenous backgrounds is substantial, although with varying compensation disparities.

The report’s findings concluded that following the COVID-19 pandemic, some organizations still face staff shortages and operate below pre-pandemic levels. High turnover rates, particularly in sub-sectors like housing and social services, add pressure, while competition for workers persists due to lower compensation levels. Recovery in certain sub-sectors is hindered by factors such as short-term funding, inflation, rising costs, and aging infrastructure. Reduced revenues strain organizations, impacting their ability to hire, and housing affordability challenges continue to persist as well. Additionally, with nearly a quarter of the non-profit workforce approaching retirement by 2029, concerns about workforce aging arise.

Calls to action

The report calls for improved non-profit sector data collection to enhance decision-making and sustain BC’s non-profit labor market. It emphasizes closing the wage gap and promoting equity and inclusion within the sector. Recommendations include strengthening the workforce pipeline, supporting professional development, and considering social determinants of work in future planning.

Read the report here.

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