Northeast B.C. posted an unemployment rate of 3.9% in June.
There were 37,500 employed and 1,500 unemployed last month, according to the latest Statistics Canada estimates, a significant improvement from last June, when 4,000 people were without work and unemployment was at 10.7%.
Month-over-month from May, however, employment is down from 38,600 jobs. The labour force participation rate was posted at 70.9%, down nearly three percentage points, with overall employment dipped to 68.3%.
B.C. as a whole added 42,100 jobs in June while the unemployment rate dipped 0.4 percentage points to 6.6% compared with May’s 7% unemployment rate.
All gains made last month came through part-time work (+50,800 jobs) as the province shed some 8,700 full-time positions. This came as the province transitioned into the second step of its four-step reopening plan following tighter restrictions brought on earlier in the year by the pandemic.
Northeast B.C. has posted the lowest unemployment in the province for the 12th consecutive month going back to last July.
Unemployment in B.C.:
North Coast and Nechako - 7.6
Lower Mainland Southwest - 7.2
Thompson-Okanagan - 6.5
Cariboo - 6.1
Kootenay - 5.6
Vancouver Island and Coast - 5.6
Northeast - 3.9
B.C.’s accommodation and food services sectors added 19,200 jobs last month.
The information, culture and recreation bucket also gained 3,600 jobs during that same period.
Sectors making big gains also included finance/insurance/real estate (+6,800 jobs), health care/social assistance (+10,600 jobs), professional/scientific/technical services (+5,400 jobs) and business/building and other support services (+5,200 jobs).
Meanwhile, the biggest losses were felt in construction (-10,100 jobs) and natural resources (-5,100 jobs).
“There's still some sectors that are facing challenges," said B.C. Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon. "But as we've entered Step 3 [in July], we're getting into a more positive space, and once we get more certainty around the U.S. border and when the federal government will make steps to allow international travellers to come, it only gets better from there.”
Kahlon said the loss of full-time positions last month is indicative of employers still uncertain over what the second step of the reopening plan meant for the economy.
“I am confident that when the Step 3 numbers are reflected and that certainty that Step 3 provided for our business community in particular, we'll see a lot more full-time employment numbers,” Kahlon said.
The national unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points on a monthly basis to 7.8% as 231,000 jobs were added across Canada.
— with files from Tyler Orton/Business in Vancouver
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