Salmon Arm has a lot of things going for it.
The city is blessed with brilliant scenery, a strong mix of amenities, an appealing array of outdoor pursuits, close proximity to other urban centres and, of course, the fact that it’s on Shuswap Lake. Oh, and as it turns out, the city is also one of the best places in the province to be employed.
For their Best Cities for Work list for 2020, BC Business Magazine ranked Salmon Arm in seventh place in the province, behind Fort St. John, Kelowna, the District of North Vancouver, the Township of Langley, Whistler and Squamish. Particularly impressive is that Salmon Arm jumped from a ranking of 29 in 2018 to 19 in 2019. Last year, BC Business Magazine attributed the ascension to robust growth, affordable housing and a short commute. These factors were also captured in Maclean’s Magazine’s Best Communities in Canada list for 2019, where Salmon Arm came in first place overall in B.C. and sixth in Canada. In the sub-category of affordable housing, Salmon Arm ranked in the top spot in Canada.
While these lists are great publicity for Salmon Arm, some of the data used to arrive at the results has raised eyebrows among residents. For example, in the BC Business Magazine ranking, the average household income for Salmon Arm is pegged at $97,520, while the average household income for people under age 35 is $82,145. To some this comes across as being high. The Maclean’s ranking listed median household income at $76,048. The Salmon Arm Economic Development Society (SAEDS) reports median household income (before tax) to be $63,646. The SAEDS number appears to reflect Statistics Canada’s data for 2016.
Another bit of data in the Maclean’s list that caught people’s attention was the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Salmon Arm being $845. If you are in need of a two-bedroom apartment, and find one going for $845, you may wish to jump on it.
While the details may be open to dispute, the big picture here is our small city continues to garner glowing attention in the province and across the country. Hopefully, the attention will continue to attract people with big ideas for positive, sustainable growth.