Vic­to­ria, prov­ince lead­ers in cre­at­ing jobs

Times Colonist - - Business - CARLA WIL­SON

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.

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