Tessa Bousfield posted an articleGreater Victoria has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada at 3.8%, a level last seen in 2008 see more
Source: Times Colonist
Author: Carla Wilson
Greater Victoria leads Canada with lowest unemployment rate
Greater Victoria has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada at 3.8 per cent, a level last seen here in 2008.
The number of people working full-time in the capital region moved to 143,400 in March, up from 137,900 in the same month in 2016, Statistics Canada said on Friday. Part-time employment climbed to 46,200 from 41,500 over the same period.
Employers are turning out in force at job fairs in the hopes of hiring workers in sectors ranging from hospitality and technology to construction. The Canadian Coast Guard recently announced a hiring blitz and is using social media to attract staff while a tourism job fair attracted a healthy crowd last weekend at Ogden Point ahead of what is expected to be a record season for visitors.
Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate tightened up from 4.4 per cent in February, Statistics Canada said in its monthly labour report.
Quebec City is in second place nationally at 4.1 per cent, with a third-place tie between Vancouver and Brantford, Ont., at 4.7 per cent.
With an election approaching on May 9, B.C. is holding onto its status as the province with the lowest unemployment rate in Canada. That’s despite the fact it moved to 5.4 per cent in March from 5.1 per cent in February.
“B.C.’s labour market maintained a positive trend through March, but showed mild signs of deceleration with slower employment growth and a slight uplift in the unemployment rate,” said Brian Yu, deputy chief economist at Central 1 Credit Union.
Total provincial employment rose by 0.2 per cent from February. The medium trend forecast “still points to a strong pace of hiring in B.C.,” Yu said.
Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate was last at 3.8 per cent at the end of 2008 when the global financial crisis exploded. The region’s rate had been even lower, at 2.8 per cent, in May of that year, but it began climbing as the recession set in.
Another bright spot in Greater Victoria was the increase in youth (15 to 24 years) employment as numbers rose to 31,100 last month, from 26,200 the year before.
Employment in the age 25-to-54 group climbed to 119,000 from 112,900 year-over-year.
There was a slight drop in the 55-year-old plus category with 38,700 working last month, down from 40,300 a year ago.
Phil Venoit, president of the Vancouver Island and District office of B.C. Building Trades, said the construction sector is becoming stronger all the time. “Things are starting to ramp up around the city, so it is positive,” he said, pointing to major office and multi-family projects that are going up. He is looking forward to the jobs created by the upcoming $765-million sewage treatment plant.
Employment in the capital region’s construction sector rose to 15,600 in March, from 12,100 the same month a year ago — an increase of 28 per cent, a Statistics Canada official said.
Building permits in Greater Victoria in February fell by 37.2 per cent to $77.8 million from 124.7 million in Feb. 2016. However, those figures reflect only what happens in one month, not the overall construction activity underway in a particular region.
Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing experienced a 33 per cent leap in jobs year-over-year to 10,400 from 7,800. Public administration jobs climbed by 26 per cent to 20,800 from 16,500. Business, building and other support services also saw a 26 per cent boost, to 9,600 last month from 7,400.
There were few job categories with major losses. Education dropped by 17 per cent to 12,800 in March, down from 15,400 the same month in 2016.
Greater Victoria’s technology sector has been performing well, although job numbers slipped somewhat year-over-year to 18,100 from 19,600.
The nation’s labour market stayed hot last month, pumping out another 19,400 net jobs — and the vast majority of the new work was full-time, Statistics Canada said.
A quick look at March employment (previous month in parentheses):
Unemployment rate 6.7% (6.6)
Employment rate 61.5% (61.4)
Labour force participation rate 65.9% (65.8)
Number unemployed 1,313,700 (1,286,100)
Number working 18,308,000 (18,288,600)
Youth (15-24) unemployment 12.8% (12.4)
Men (25 plus) unemployment 6.0% (5.9)
Women (25 plus) unemployment 5.4% (5.2)
Newfoundland 14.9% (14.2)
Prince Edward Island 10.1 (10.0)
Nova Scotia 8.6 (8.1)
New Brunswick 8.4 (8.9)
Quebec 6.4 (6.4)
Ontario 6.4 (6.2)
Manitoba 5.5 (5.8)
Saskatchewan 6.0 (6.0)
Alberta 8.4 (8.3)
British Columbia 5.4 (5.1)
St. John’s, N.L. 8.9% (9.1)
Halifax 6.5 (6.1)
Moncton, N.B. 8.0 (8.2)
Saint John, N.B. 6.7 (7.9)
Quebec 4.1 (4.3)
Trois-Rivieres, Que. 6.6 (6.6)
Montreal 6.6 (6.7)
Ottawa 5.0 (5.1)
Kingston, Ont. 6.1 (6.1)
Oshawa, Ont. 6.0 (5.7)
Toronto 7.1 (7.1)
Hamilton, Ont. 5.9 (5.9)
Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. 5.6 (5.5)
Brantford, Ont. 4.7 (4.2)
London, Ont. 6.0 (6.2)
Windsor, Ont. 5.2 (5.1)
Barrie, Ont. 6.8 (7.2)
Sudbury, Ont. 7.4 (7.9)
Thunder Bay, Ont. 5.8 (6.0)
Winnipeg 6.5 (6.7)
Regina 4.8 (5.2)
Saskatoon 7.5 (7.0)
Calgary 9.3 (9.4)
Edmonton 8.4 (8.3)
Kelowna 6.4 (7.4)
Abbotsford 6.3 (6.1)
Vancouver 4.7 (4.7)
Victoria 3.8 (4.4)
Tessa Bousfield posted an articleVictoria's unemployment rate 2nd lowest in country bolstered by job growth in tech, govnt. & retail. see more
Source: CHEK News
New numbers from Statistics Canada show the jobless rate in Canada moved up in July, as the economy shed more than 31,000 jobs, but BC, and Victoria in particular, are bucking the trend.
The Capital Region’s unemployment rate was now the second-lowest in the country last month, at 4.7 per cent, bolstered by job growth in tech, government and retail.
VIATEC CEO Dan Gunn said the Statscan figures showing 5,000 more people working in science and tech in the Capital Region, could actually be low.
“You have new companies starting everyday and they’re growing fast so the reporting can be slower than the actual reality,” he said, adding that Statscan’s labour force survey also fails to account for contract and freelance workers who make up a large part of the tech workforce.
And there was at least one surprising stat.
While the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation just reported the region saw housing starts reach a 15-year high through the first six months of 2016, the number of people working construction in Greater Victoria is down, with 2,700 fewer workers than in July 2015.
BC’s Construction Association president Manley McLachlan says it’s not for lack of demand.
“There’s lots of rationale for it. I would say that there’s still a huge demand, we know that, and I think the fact there’s 2,700 fewer people working here today, they’re probably working somewhere else,” he said.
“I’d suggest look up-Island, the John Hart dam is going strong, two hospitals under construction, lots of private sector work.So it’s a bit of an anomaly.”
At GT Hiring Solutions, Christine Willow says its also a case of demand outpacing supply, as the construction sector is just one of the industries looking for help finding workers.
“Companies like Labour Unlimited are coming to us and saying we will come and pick up the people and drive people to the site,” she said.
And she says from skilled workers, to entry level jobs in kitchens, employers are having a hard time filling openings across the board, leading to plenty of opportunity for anyone looking for work.
“There are very few sectors where I could say they’re not looking for people … I think now with 4.7 per cent unemployment, there are employers who are perhaps willing to make some concessions and do on the job training as well.”
But with unemployment higher for younger workers, McLachlan said it’s never been a better time for young people to consider building trades.
“We know we have retirements coming, two out of every three construction workers [in BC] is over the age of 45,” he said. “Those jobs will need to be filled, there’s huge opportunity.”