Victoria, province leaders in creating jobs
Greater Victoria had the secondlowest unemployment rate in Canada last month as the capital region’s labour shortage showed no sign of abating.
Statistics Canada said Friday that Greater Victoria’s rate was 3.8 per cent, slightly lower than October’s 3.9 per cent. The capital region tied with Quebec city, also at 3.8 per cent. Guelph, Ont., had the lowest rate in the country at three per cent.
Employment in Greater Victoria has changed little compared with a year ago. Last month, 193,700 people were employed, compared with 194,300 in November 2017, a Statistics Canada official said.
Construction is among sectors where jobs increased year-overyear, to 15,400 from 13,700. Builders are keen to hire workers to keep projects on track.
The retail and wholesale trade category grew to 28,200 workers last month, from 26,000 the previous year.
Health care and social services climbed to 31,900 from 30,000. Business, building and other support services saw numbers move up to 8,500 from 7,000.
Those job increases were offset by declines in some sectors, such as transportation and warehousing which is now at 6,500 from 9,100. The finance, insurance and real estate category is now at 6,500 from 9,300.
And accommodation and food services, a major local employer, saw numbers decline to 14,400 people employed from 16,900.
In B.C., the unemployment rate increased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 4.4 per cent. Last month, the number of employed people increased by 16,000 for a total of 43,000. In the 12 months to November, employment in British Columbia increased by 43,000, or 1.7 per cent.
Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston said: “B.C.’s strong jobs numbers and latest fiscal update show that we can have a truly balanced budget with a robust surplus, while investing in people and making life more affordable.
“November marked the fifth month in a row that B.C. had the lowest unemployment rate in the country, at 4.4 per cent,” he said.
Employment in the province has gone by up by 42,500 jobs in the past year, Ralston said.
Nationally, a blast of new jobs last month knocked the country’s unemployment rate down to its lowest level since Statistics Canada started measuring comparable data more than 40 years ago.
Canada added 94,100 net jobs for its largest monthly increase since March 2012 when there was a gain of 94,000 jobs. The November surge was fuelled by other positives: 89,900 new full-time positions and 78,600 employee jobs in the private sector.
The jobless rate fell to 5.6 per cent last month from October’s 5.8, which had been the previous low mark since comparable data first became available in 1976.
The improvements, however, obscured a key piece of data: weakening wage growth.
Year-over-year average hourly wage growth for permanent employees continued its decline in November to 1.46 per cent — its lowest reading since July 2017.