The District of Mission has several advantages when it comes to providing businesses a skilled and educated labour force. Over the past few years Mission has become one of the fastest growing communities in British Columbia, with a population of 37,574. However, with this growth Mission has not achieved a balance between residential growth and employment growth and as a result, more than 65 percent of Mission's local labour force commutes to other municipalities. According to industry, manufacturing, retail trade, and construction make up a majority of the jobs in Mission at 13.2 percent, 12.3 percent, and 11.6 percent, respectively. The top three occupations providing jobs in Mission are sales and service (24.6%); trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (19.9%); and business, finance and administration occupations (14.3%).
Historically, Mission's economy was largely dependent on the agriculture sector. However, over time agriculture operations gave way to residential housing demands. Currently, about 3 percent of jobs in Mission are in the agriculture sector. The District of Mission has strong historical ties to the forestry sector as this, as well as construction, represent the leading private sector income contributors to the local economy. Mission was historically resources-dependent and known for its strong shake and shingle industry capitalizing on the abundance of cedar in the area. Today, shake and shingle companies continue to be some of the larger employers for jobs in Mission. Manufacturing plays an important role for jobs in Mission. Currently, there are more than 60 manufacturing companies in Mission employing over 4,000 people.
Major employers in Mission are now predominately service organization, with some of the larger retailers being Mission Home Hardware, Rex Cox Men's Wear, Fields and Belle's Sports - all offering opportunities for jobs in Mission. The dominant sector in terms of jobs in Mission and income is the public sector, as some of Mission's largest employers are public service organizations. Construction activity is a vital part of the local economy, with considerable activity in the residential area, and secondarily, the commercial sector. Private sector service jobs in Mission such as retail, personal and business services have also been strong job generators locally.
According to Mission Economic Development Strategy from Lions Gate Consulting Inc., Mission has a high proportion of young families and fewer seniors than the B.C. average. Compared to B.C., Mission has lower proportions of high school and university-educated workers and higher proportions of trade and non-university educated workers. As such, the ability of the local economy to transform itself into innovate, knowledge-based activities will depend, in part, on the availability of a well-educated and skilled labour force - something lacking within Mission.