Smaller national and/or global companies outpacing their larger counterparts in growth

Biggest increase in the number of B.C. staff employed: The five companies with the most gains had an average growth of 107% | Source: BIV lists

The larger national and/or global companies in British Columbia on Business in Vancouver’s Top 100 National and/or Global Companies operating in B.C list (pages 22, 24, 26, 27 and 28) have scaled down while companies lower on the list have grown.

With the exception of the two top-ranking companies, No. 1 Jim Pattison Group and No. 2 Walmart Canada (NYSE:WMT), and No. 5 London Drugs, the companies in the top 10 for which complete data was available reduced their B.C. employee count by an average of 3.75% over the five-year period beginning 2014.

On average, the number of B.C. employees working at the top 100 national and/or global companies fell 25% to 1,772 in 2018 from 2,364 in 2014.

However, the median number of B.C. employees across the same companies grew 36.1% to 850 from 625 employees, suggesting that the businesses lower on the list were affected less by the decline than those higher up.

An example of this disparity was Stemcell Technologies, whose employee growth helped rocket the company 34 places up the list, to No. 47 in 2018 from No. 81 in 2014. This ascent was achieved because of a 136.3% increase in its B.C. employee count, as the company grew to 898 employees in 2018 from 380 in 2014.


Canadian Western Bank fell the furthest on BIV’s list. It dropped 18 spots to No. 73 in 2018 from No. 55 in 2014. Its B.C. employment number declined 33.2% to 478 employees in 2018 from 716 in 2014.

No. 12 Paladin Security had the largest one-year B.C. employment growth out of the 100 companies on BIV’s list: 46.9% (up 1,243 employees to 3,893) in 2018 from 2,650  in 2017.

No. 13 Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B) had the largest one-year B.C. employment decline, falling 25% to 3,700 workers in 2018 from 4,936 in 2017.