Growth slows at Metro Vancouver’s top 100 manufacturers

Increase in the average annual number of staff cut in half in 2020 compared with 2019

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Metro Vancouver’s top manufacturers are growing at roughly half the rate they did last year, according to data collected in Business in Vancouver’s Top 100 Manufacturers in Metro Vancouver list.

Over the past year, the companies on the list increased their B.C. employee base an average of 2.3% in 2020 compared with an average of 4% a year ago.

Only 49 companies on the list experienced a change in their B.C. employee base. Thirty-one companies added staff. SST Wireless Inc. (No. 99) recorded the largest increase. Its employee base jumped 100% to 18 in 2020 from nine in 2019. The remaining 18 companies reduced staff numbers. Wellons Canada (No. 62) recorded the largest decline in its employee base, which dropped 51.9% to 90 employees in 2020 from 187 in 2019.

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Over the past five years, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics North America (No. 6) moved furthest up the list. It jumped 59 places from 65th in 2016. That jump was driven by a 790.2% staff increase as its number of employees rose to 1,086 in 2020 from 122 in 2016. The company’s employee base increased another 2.4% over the past year.

Lafarge Canada Inc. (No. 8) and Cloverdale Paint Inc. (No. 18) tied for the largest decline on the list. Each dropped five places between 2016 and 2020. Lafarge was No. 3 in 2016 as its number of B.C. employees fell to 1,000 in 2020 from 1,157 in 2016.

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Cloverdale Paint dropped from 13th place after its number of B.C. employees dropped 20% to 400 in 2020 from 500 2016.

Of companies that had at least five years of data, 29 moved up the list. Only 10 companies moved down the list.