The number of people employed in the Thompson Okanagan Region decreased from 265,500 in April 2019 to 252,200 in April 2020. Simultaneously, the number of people in the labour force decreased from 280,500 in April 2019 to 277,200 in April 2020. Last month, employment rates were 56.3% in B.C. and 56.6% in Canada, while the Thompson Okanagan Region was 55.0%. The unemployment rate in the Thompson Okanagan Region increased from 7.2% in March to 9.0% in April.

Source: Statistics Canada LFS

Number of Postings by Occupation, in Kamloops

Airport Passenger Volumes

The passenger numbers for April and Year to Date, 2020 are available and as expected, are clearly showing the severe negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel sector. All current indicators call for a slow recovery starting in Q2 with moderate recovery in Q3 and Q4. Recovery will be largely dependent on travel and physical distancing restrictions, demand, and availability of disposable income for leisure travel. On a more positive note however, airlines have indicated no further reductions to service in the Kamloops market are planned and a phased reentry into the market by Air Canada Express is tentatively scheduled for mid-June.

Source: Kamloops Airport Authority

Real Estate

Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems dropped by a record 56.8% in April 2020 compared to an already weakened March, with a majority of sellers and buyers having seemingly moved off to the sidelines during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity dropped by 57.6% on a y-o-y basis, marking the lowest April sales figure since 1984. Similar to the m-o-m changes above, declines in the biggest markets were clustered in the 55%-70% range.

Sources: Kamloops and District Real Estate Association, BC Real Estate Association, and Canadian Real Estate Association

Housing Sales across the Province April 2020

Board Avg. Price ($) Unit Sales
Kamloops 416,204 120
Greater Vancouver 1,031,321 1,119
Fraser Valley 769,666 656
Victoria 701,632 276
Chilliwack 523,287 159
Okanagan Mainline 526,272 299
Vancouver Island 522,309 303
South Okanagan 453,681 70
Kootenay 331,919 101
BC Northern 316,046 157
Powell River 322,980 10
Northern Lights 253,786 14

Housing Construction

There were 136 new housing starts in Kamloops in April 2020, which was up from the 96 starts in April 2019. The 136 housing starts represented $22,715,000 in construction value, compared to $19,101,774 in construction value for the 96 housing starts in April of the previous year.

Source: City of Kamloops; Statistics Canada

Building Permits

In April 2020, the City of Kamloops issued 41 residential building permits valued at $23,059,530, an increase over total permits issued in April of the previous year at a value of $19,771,164. A total of 16 commercial building permits were issued in April 2020 with a value of $13,875,170 compared to the 10 permits issued in April 2019 with a value of $11,995,844.

Source: City of Kamloops

Business Licenses

Kamloops issued 41 new business license applications in April 2020 down from the 62 from the previous year.


Business Licenses
Issued (YTD)


Residential Building Permits
Issued (YTD)


Commercial Building Permits
Issued (YTD)


Source: City of Kamloops