Victoria tops province in employment growth

Source: Times Colonist
Author: Andrew Duffy

Greater Victoria’s employment growth over the last year led all B.C. locations, according to data released by Statistics Canada.

With 10,100 more people employed in the city in December, Victoria’s employment grew 5.8 per cent over the last 12 months. The federal agency’s labour force survey indicated that was well ahead of Vancouver’s 4.2 per cent growth and the 4.5 per cent growth experienced in the Abbotsford-Mission region over the same period.

“It’s been good, solid employment growth over the 12 months in Victoria,” said Statistics Canada spokesman Vincent Ferrao. He noted at 5.8 per cent Victoria was also near the top of the list Canada-wide.

Guelph, Ont. topped the list with 9.1 per cent growth year-over-year; Kingston, Ont., reported 6.5 per cent growth.

British Columbia had the fastest employment growth of all the provinces over the last year with employment in the province up 2.3 per cent (52,000 more jobs), the result of an upward trend that began in April.

Statistics Canada noted the national growth rate was below one per cent at 0.09 per cent.

But despite an increased number of employed people, Victoria’s unemployment rate was up significantly over the last year. As of December, the unemployment rate was 6.1 per cent, up from 5.0 in December 2014.

“There were more people coming into the labour force over the last 12 months, which pushed the unemployment rate up to 6.1,” said Ferrao. He believes that is due to workers returning to B.C. from Alberta as that province’s economy slowed considerably.

“Also maybe since there has been employment growth in Victoria, it has attracted more people to come in and look [for work],” added Ferrao.

In Greater Victoria, the total labour force grew to 194,800 by the end of 2015, up from 182,000 in December 2014. The region has seen increased employment in retail and wholesale trade, which saw a jump of 4,200 to 28,000 positions over the 12 months, and gains of 1,500 jobs in construction and manufacturing.

The only significant job loss over the year was in Statistics Canada’s “other services category,” which dropped 1,300 positions.

Like Greater Victoria, B.C.’s unemployment rate rose in December despite more people being employed. B.C.’s rate now stands at 6.4 per cent, up from 5.8 a year earlier.

The Canadian unemployment rate followed the same trend with an increase to 7.1 per cent from 6.7 per cent a year ago, despite a slight increase in the number of employed people — 18 million in December 2015, compared with 17.9 million in December 2014. Global economic uncertainty — and the ongoing impact of the collapse in oil prices — has weakened in Canada’s recovery, despite two cuts for interest rates in 2015.

BY THE NUMBERS

December unemployment

(previous month in parentheses):

  • Unemployment rate7.1 per cent (7.1)
  • Employment rate61.2 per cent (61.2)
  • Labour force participation rate65.9 per cent (65.8)
  • Number unemployed1,386,400 (1,364,800)
  • Number working18,009,600 (17,986,800)
  • Youth (15-24) unemployment 13.0 per cent (12.7)
  • Men (25+) unemployment6.6 per cent (6.5)
  • Women (25+) unemployment 5.6 per cent (5.7)

PROVINCES

  • Newfoundland14.4% (13.0)
  • Prince Edward Island9.7 (10.4)
  • Nova Scotia 8.6 (8.6)
  • New Brunswick 8.9 (8.7)
  • Quebec 7.8 (7.5)
  • Ontario 6.7 (6.9)
  • Manitoba 5.9 (6.1)
  • Saskatchewan 5.5 (5.5)
  • Alberta 7.0 (7.0)
  • British Columbia 6.7 (6.2)

CITIES

  • St. John’s6.4 (6.2)
  • Halifax 6.2 (6.1)
  • Moncton, N.B. 6.2 (5.8)
  • Saint John, N.B. 7.7 (7.3)
  • Saguenay, Que. 7.5 (7.6)
  • Quebec 4.9 (4.8)
  • Sherbrooke, Que. 6.6 (6.3)
  • Trois-Rivieres, Que. 7.3 (6.9)
  • Montreal 8.7 (8.6)
  • Gatineau, Que. 6.1 (6.4)
  • Ottawa 6.3 (6.3)
  • Kingston, Ont. 6.5 (6.7)
  • Peterborough, Ont. 7.6 (8.6)
  • Oshawa, Ont. 7.0 (7.8)
  • Toronto 7.0 (7.0)
  • Hamilton, Ont. 5.9 (6.0)
  • St. Catharines, Ont. 8.0 (7.8)
  • Kitchener-Waterloo 6.4 (5.9)
  • Brantford, Ont. 4.9 (5.4)
  • Guelph, Ont. 4.2 (4.2)
  • London, Ont. 6.2 (6.8)
  • Windsor, Ont. 9.7 (10.0)
  • Barrie, Ont. 6.4 (6.1)
  • Sudbury, Ont. 8.4 (8.2)
  • Thunder Bay, Ont. 5.7 (5.3)
  • Winnipeg 6.1 (5.7)
  • Regina 4.1 (4.0)
  • Saskatoon 6.4 (6.1)
  • Calgary 7.0 (6.9)
  • Edmonton 6.2 (6.1)
  • Kelowna6.7 (6.2)
  • Abbotsford7.6 (7.2)
  • Vancouver 5.7 (5.8)
  • Victoria 6.1 (6.3)