June 13, 2017 9:18 pm

Kelowna’s jobless rate one of lowest in Canada


What a difference a year makes. The unemployment rate in Kelowna has gone from being one of the highest in Canada to one of the lowest.

“This is a very positive change for people looking for work,” Kevin Renwick said.

Renwick owns Okanagan Staffing Services, a company that matches employers with employees.

“There are more jobs out there now than there was at this time last year,” Renwick said. “and there are fewer and fewer people to fill those roles.”

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According to Stats Canada, Kelowna’s unemployment rate was at 4 per cent in May, 2017. That compares to a whopping 8.2 per cent in May, 2017.

Sectors most in need of workers include construction, manufacturing, financial and the service or hospitality industries.

On Tuesday morning, a job fair in Kelowna hosted by Commissionaires BC, a large security company, also demonstrated the high demand for workers.

The first hour did not generate a single applicant.

“We have more jobs than we do people right now,” Human Resources Generalist with Commissionaires BC Kirsten Breau said.

The company is looking to hire up to 30 people going into its busy summer season. But the low unemployment rate may make recruiting a bit more challenging.

“It might, it definitely might,” Breau said. “We put ads out and try to entice people with what we offer as a company being benefits, flexibility and full-time work.”

The company also offers other incentives including covering some of the costs involved in becoming a licensed commissionaire.

“After you have been employed with us for six months, we will reimburse you half the course,” Breau said. “So that is another incentive for us to get people.”

Kelowna’s jobless rate is now the third-lowest in the country after only Victoria and Guelph, Ontario. It’s also lower than the national average of 6.6 per cent and the provincial average of 5.5 per cent.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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