The mandate of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) is to work in partnership with regional stakeholders to facilitate and encourage the development of a healthy and sustainable economy by supporting existing businesses and encouraging new investment within the Regional District of Central Okanagan. The region includes the communities of Lake Country, Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, West Kelowna, Peachland, and the East and West Electoral Areas.
In 2017, to keep the public and business community informed on the economy of the region, the COEDC launched a publicly available Economic Indicators Report, highlighting key economic data for the Central Okanagan.
The COEDC collects a wide range of statistics and data monthly, allowing the Commission to track key indicators and get a better picture of where the region stands. As an additional tool and expanding on the quick stats dashboard in the COEDC website, the Economic Indicators Report is published on a quarterly basis and provides a snapshot on 9 key statistics, offering a comparative perspective with previous years as well as with other Canadian locations.
In response to growing global and regional labour market challenges, the COEDC launched the quarterly Job Market Indicators Report in 2021 to complement the existing Economic Indicator Report. This report provides a snapshot of the Central Okanagan's labour force and job market through data collected from Vicinity Jobs, a real-time labour market information technology platform.
The implementation and sharing of these indictor reports provide useful regional information to our business community, support organizations, and local stakeholders in a clear and engaging format.
Bite size information makes users less overwhelmed with complex economic data and helps increase knowledge retention and understanding. This way the information becomes easier to digest, more accessible and impactful for the end user.
In addition, media outlets routinely share COEDC's Economic and Job Market Indicators. Samples:
Kelowna Capital News - Kelowna Area is the Fastest Growing in BC
KelownaNow - Level Up Central Okanagan Business Report https://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/Level_Up_Central_Okanagan_Business_Report/Kelowna_economic_recovery_is_underway/
Castanet - Central Okanagan Economic Indicators Show Impressive Recovery
Global News - RDCO: Economic Indicators Reaffirm Kelowna's Rapid Growth
The development of these publications and reports have enhanced collaboration efforts among all regional partners as they enhance understanding of the region's economic climate and create unified messaging. Furthermore, appealing and purposeful publications allow us to equip our provincial and federal counterparts to understand the region's competitive advantages.
In the current labour market environment, the Job Market Indicator reports have helped employers to better understand the competitive nature of the region's job market.
The Economic and Job Market Indicators can be easily replicated and are easily transferable to any community. All elements of the process - gathering, collection, cleaning, analysis, interpretation, and visualization - can be adapted to suit each community's needs, style, and message. The data is there, a community just needs to identify which indicators are meaningful to them.
The lessons learned are that the indicators are ever evolving and will require an up-to-date understanding of the current needs of our business community and end users.