B.C.’s top employee benefit companies expanded through pandemic

Median employment at top firms rises 34.4% over the past year

British Columbia’s largest employee benefit companies have managed to grow during the pandemic, according to data collected on Business in Vancouver’s Biggest Employee Benefit Companies in B.C. list (https://biv.com/lists).

Over the past year the median employment at the top companies has increased 34.4% to 21.5 employees in 2021 from 16 in 2020.

During the same period, the average skyrocketed 127.7%; however, that was largely due to the addition to the list of No. 1 Pacific Blue Cross, which employs more people in B.C. than the rest of the companies on the list combined. It still managed to increase its massive B.C. workforce over the pandemic year by 2.8% to 773 in 2021 from 752 in 2020.

Both average and median B.C. employment levels at the top employee benefit companies grew more over the past year than they did in the three previous years.

The average one-year growth rate on the list was 2.1%.

No. 5 Healthcare Benefit Trust recorded the largest one-year increase. Its number of B.C. employees grew 15.6% to 37 in 2021 from 32 in 2020.

No. 4 ZLC Financial had the largest one-year decline in local employment for companies on the list: down 9% to 61 employees in 2021 from 27 in 2020.

Of the top five firms on BIV’s list with four years of data available, No. 8 S+F Group Benefits Inc. recorded the largest increase: up 83.3% to 22 B.C. employees in 2021 from 12 in 2020.

– Albert Van Santvoort

avansantvoort@biv.com