Biggest Surrey-based businesses hit employment high

Growth at Surrey’s biggest companies has continued to snowball, with businesses hitting their highest employment levels in at least five years and reaching an average of 2,882.4 employees in 2020, according to data on Business in Vancouver’s Biggest Surrey-Based Employers list (page 10). 

Surrey’s biggest companies also recorded the largest one-year increase in their average number of employees since 2017: up 8.6% from 2,653.6 in 2019. This surge was more than double the annual average employment growth experienced over the past two years for Surrey’s largest businesses. In 2019 and 2018, the average number of employees grew 3.2% and 3.9%, respectively. 

Over the past five years, the average number of employees working at Surrey’s largest businesses grew 27.2% from 2,266.8 in 2016.  Over the same period, the median number of employees grew more than double the average, to 692 in 2020 from 425 in 2015. This suggests that smaller companies lower on the list grew more than larger companies higher on the list. 

The five-year growth in the median number of employees working at Surrey’s largest businesses is perhaps even more impressive given that the median fell 15.5% in 2018 to 448.5 after growing 24.8% to 530.5 in the previous year.

No. 12 Prospera Credit Union had the highest one-year growth on the list. It increased 50.9% to 649 employees in 2020 from 430 in 2019. 

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No. 4 Coast Capital Savings recorded the steepest one-year drop in employees, falling 7.9% to 1,712 in 2020 from 1,859 in 2019. 

Of the top five largest companies, the City of Surrey (No.3) had the highest five-year growth. The municipality increased its employee count by 17.65% to 4,000 in 2020 from 3,400 in 2016. However, all of that growth occurred in 2018, and the city has not increased its number of employees since. 

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Coast Capital Savings was the only company in the top five to report a five-year decline in employment, falling 1.5% from 1,738 in 2016. However, the small percentage decline masks a lot of volatility that occurred over those five years. After the number of employees at the financial institution fell by 7.9% to 1,600 in 2017, it increased its employee base by 16.3% to 1,860 in 2018, where it remained steady until this year.