British Columbia’s unemployment rate has dropped to 10.7 per cent from 11.1 per cent a month ago but the unemployment rate in Vancouver has gone up.
In a mixed job update from Statistics Canada, 10,500 jobs were created in Vancouver but more people looking for work has led to local unemployment climbing from 11.6 per cent in July to 12.4 per cent in August.
In total 15,300 jobs were created in British Columbia last month but the province has lost 169,600 jobs from August 2019 to August 2020.
“The monthly labour force numbers for August show that B.C.’s safe restart plan continued to make positive job gains for the fourth month in a row,” Jobs Minister Michelle Mungall said in a release.
“Our focus on restarting B.C.’s economy in a safe, responsible manner has strongly supported our efforts to battle the pandemic as well as get our economy back on its feet.”
The youth unemployment rate is also improving in British Columbia. From July to August 4,800 jobs disappeared for British Columbians aged 15 to 24 years old but with less young people looking for work the unemployment rate went from 24.1 per cent to 22.6 per cent.
Job sector growth is also varied with manufacturing jobs up 6,000 from July to August, 10,400 retail jobs have disappeared while 6,400 jobs have been created in the accommodation and food services sector.
Statistics Canada says the national economy added 246,000 in August as the pace of job gains slowed compared with July, when 419,000 jobs were added.
The figure marked the fourth consecutive month of gains from COVID-19 related lockdowns this spring, bringing the number to within 1.1 million of pre-pandemic levels.
National gains in August were largely concentrated in full-time work, which had been lagging behind gains in part-time employment.
Employment also rose at a faster pace for women than men for the third straight month as Statistics Canada reported women gained about 150,000 positions in August compared to 96,000 for men.
The B.C. government is expected to announce an economic recovery plan in a few weeks time. The plan will outline how the province will spend $2.5 billion including money for public transit and municipalities.
“We are committed to building a recovery that works for everyone, and the next steps in B.C.’s recovery plan will be announced later this month,” Mungall said.
“I continue to be impressed by how resilient people in our province have been, both in responding to the virus and in supporting our businesses and workers. We are making progress together.”