Happy days for Vancouver brokers?

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Mortgage brokers in Canada’s priciest market may soon catch a break, with the release of CIBC’s latest Employment Quality Index indicating their province leads the country in creating high-paying jobs.

According to the report released by the bank Thursday, the national economy saw solid job growth in the first half of 2012 despite the slowing global economy.

British Columbia was singled out as showing the most significant improvement. Nearly 90 per cent of jobs created in the province for the first six months of the year were full-time positions. Furthermore B.C. showed strong gains in producing jobs in high-paying sectors such as utilities, manufacturing and finance.

“The good news is that the Canadian economy created 155,000 new jobs in the first six months of 2012. The even better news is that these jobs were high quality,” said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC and author of the index.

The index, which combines information on the distribution of part-time vs. full-time jobs, self-employment vs. paid-employment; and the compensation ranking of full-time paid employment jobs, rose by 1.2 per cent during the first six months of the year and is now back to its pre-recession level.

Although Tal tempered his report but saying “these trajectories are unlikely to last,” it does bring some welcome news to mortgage brokers in B.C., many of whom have been hard-hit by escalating home prices that have outstripped the income of workers in a floundering economy.

Last year MortgageBrokerNews.ca reported that a number of brokers in Vancouver have taken second jobs outside the industry as a “survival strategy” to compensate for lost income due to the cooling market. The number of brokers leaving the business entirely was also placed at around 7 per cent to 9 per cent of the more than 100 mortgage professionals who entered the market after 2008.

New agents who do not yet have deep portfolios were hardest hit.

However, the CIBC’s index now paints a rosier picture. The report notes that nationwide, full-time employment rose by 1.1 per cent during the first half of the year. That is 10 times faster than the growth in part-time employment.

But more importantly, Tal noted, high-paying positions in hot sectors such as petroleum, coal manufacturing, oil and gas extractions, heavy and civil engineering, construction and transportation equipment manufacturing, also went up by 1.6 per cent during the period.

“That is more than double the pace seen in low-paying sectors such as miscellaneous manufacturing, wood product manufacturing, textile product mills, electronics and appliance stores,” Tal said.

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