Statistics Canada has issued a new report (covered here in the Vancouver Sun) that shows that BC residents are lazy.
No, just kidding. But it does say that residents of the province work nearly 300 fewer hours per year, on average, than their counterparts in Alberta. That’s an average of an hour less per work day. Among Canadians, only Quebec and Newfoundland residents work fewer hours than British Columbians.
The question remains, though, whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. And the answer is—probably a bit of both. To some extent, the Sun article suggests, BC residents are choosing to lead a more relaxed lifestyle than do people in other provinces. According to David Baxter of Vancouver’s Urban Futures Institute, this is a long-standing trend: for decades people have moved to BC, particularly the Vancouver area, for the quality of life—including recreational and cultural opportunities—not necessarily for the job opportunities. (The same trend, by the way, is visible in the Seattle and Portland regions as well.)
But BC’s soft economy, particularly in resource-extractive industries such as timber, means that some people in the province are working less than they’d like to.
So don’t deride BC residents as slackers. Clearly, not everyone who wants to work in BC can find a good job. And besides, what’s wrong with taking a little time off?