B.C. adds 15K jobs in October, snapping four-month losing spree

B.C. added 15,300 jobs in October, according to Statistics Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Eric Risberg, File

British Columbia snapped a four-month streak of job losses in October, adding an estimated 15,300 new positions, according to Statistics Canada.

The agency says those numbers were driven by increases in full-time work (12,700 jobs) and among employees aged 55 and over.

The province has added 50,000 jobs since October 2018, the majority of them full time, said StatsCan.

B.C. unemployment rate and employment change (in thousands) 2015-present. Statistics Canada

The province’s unemployment rate remained frozen at 4.7 per cent, the lowest in Canada.

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B.C. outperformed Canada in October, with job growth remaining static nationally.

READ MORE: B.C. economy under the microscope after shedding 8,400 jobs in September

“Our economy remains resilient, with low unemployment, higher wages and positive job growth despite challenges both globally and here in Canada,” said Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston in a media release.

“In the big three categories of job growth, wages and unemployment, B.C. performed exceptionally well in the month of October.”

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Ralston said average hourly wages were up by 25 cents in October, with about 5.8 per cent growth year-over-year.

READ MORE: Canada sees jobs surge in August with 81K new positions

However the opposition BC Liberals said B.C.’s economy remains on shaky ground, and that the province had lost close to 10,000 jobs over the last five months.

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“John Horgan needs to start focusing on building a stronger economy for all of B.C.,” said Liberal jobs critic Jordan Sturdy in a statement.

“The NDP’s typical over-tax approach to governance is hurting B.C. families, especially those in rural B.C. who have been left to fend for themselves as the forestry crisis continues with no help in sight from this NDP government.”

The Liberals point to the Business Council of B.C.’s recent forecast which downgraded its estimate of annual provincial GDP growth from two per cent to 1.8 per cent.

B.C.’s best and worst performing sectors in October for jobs. Statistics Canada

B.C.’s biggest job gains in October came in the fields of public administration; finance, insurance, real estate rental and leasing; accommodation and food services and educational services.

Manufacturing, construction and other services saw the biggest declines.

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Despite the province’s timber sector woes, forestry, fishing, and other resource extraction industries showed a small net addition of jobs.

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