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Working as an Economist [NOC 4162]

Job Description

Economists and economic policy researchers conduct research, analyze information and prepare reports and plans to solve economic and business problems. You may also advise on matters such as finance, monetary policy, international trade, agricultural and natural resource commodities labour and industrial markets.

Working as an Economist you may perform these duties:

  • research and develop models to analyze, explain and forecast economic behaviour and patterns, and create methods for collection and analysis of data
  • forecast production and consumption of specific products and services
  • forecast production and consumption of renewable resources and supply, consumption and depletion of non-renewable resources
  • forecast income and expenditure, interest rates and exchange rates
  • analyze factors that determine economic growth and advise government agencies on policies to increase economic activities
  • analyze factors that determine labour force participation, employment, wages, unemployment and other labour market outcomes research market conditions in local, regional or national area to set sales and pricing levels for goods and services, to assess market potential and future trends and to develop business strategies

Source: WorkBC Career Profile for Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts (NOC 4162)

Industry Overview

Job prospects for economists are expected to remain steady through 2025. The majority of jobs are in Metro Vancouver and Victoria. Average annual employment growth in Greater Vancouver area is 1.3%.

Job Outlook in BC

forecasted average employment growth rate; job openings; composition of job openings for 2018 to 2028

You can learn more about working as an Economist in BC from:

Types of Employers

Economists are employed by:

  • government departments and agencies
  • industry associations and trade unions
  • research organizations
  • banks and investment firms

Salary

The median annual salary for economists in BC is $80,662. Your level of education, the industry you work in, and location all affect your salary. For example, people with a master’s degree or PhD earn more than those with a bachelor’s degree.

Most full-time economists receive benefits as well as a salary. These often include dental coverage and life insurance. Paid sick leave and vacation time are also common. Some employers help with a retirement plan. Those who work in the private sector may also get yearly bonuses.

Sources: WorkBC and Career Cruising

hourly wages for economists & economic policy researchers NOC 4162

Source: Job Bank Canada

Working Hours

Most economists work 7-8 hours per day, 5 days per week, although deadlines for reports and presentations often require evening or weekend work.

Skills, Education and Experience

Skills

  • analytical / advanced critical thinking
  • excellent communication skills
  • creative and organized
  • ability to write reports and make complex presentations
  • ability to meet deadlines
  • excellent mathematics skills
  • interest in keeping up with current events
  • ability to make decisions

Education and Experience

A master’s degree in economics or in a related discipline such as business administration or statistics is usually required. A doctorate in economics may be required.

Source: WorkBC, Career Profile for Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts (NOC 4162)

Qualifications

The occupation of Economist is not regulated in BC.

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available in print at the Central Library or online at JOBFreeway.com
    NOTE:  Access at VPL locations only

Online Job Postings

  • Indeed.com
    Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards
  • BC JobConnect **must have permanent resident number**
    newcomers can post their skills, education and work experience to BC employers looking for workers

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a range of different job titles that are relevant.

For economists, look for these related job titles (from NOC):

  • Business Analyst – Economics
  • Economic Advisor
  • Economic Policy Analyst
  • Labour Market Information Analyst

You may also want to look at these related jobs (from NOC):

  • Business Development Officers, Marketing Researchers, Consultants
  • Financial and Investment Analysts
  • Government Managers – Economic Analysis, Policy Development and Program Administration
  • Labour policy analysts (in Social Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers)

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers who work in the economic sector in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • CivicInfo BC
    Contact information for BC local governments and related agencies
  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “economic” and click SEARCH.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, see the following:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations and organizations for economists in BC and Canada can provide information and assistance.  Registration fees are usually required for membership.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession. Examples at the Central Library:

  • The Economist
    Also available at the Central Library, 330.5 E194