Looking for work? It seems Kelowna has jobs and plenty of them.
On Friday, Statistics Canada released its monthly unemployment rates for major cities across the nation, and Kelowna had the lowest average for January at 4.6 per cent.
To put that in perspective, StatCan says the national unemployment rate was 9.4 per cent, or double that of Kelowna.
The provincial unemployment rate for B.C. was 8.0 per cent, with Vancouver and Abbotsford-Mission both at 7.8 per cent and Victoria at 5.0 per cent.
In December, Quebec City had the lowest national unemployment rate at 4.1 per cent, with Kelowna next at 4.5 per cent. For January, though, Quebec City rose to 4.7 per cent.
For Alberta, the January provincial unemployment rate was 10.7 per cent, down from 11.1 per cent in December. Calgary’s jobless rate was 10.6 per cent, with Edmonton at 11.9 per cent.
The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s executive director, Dan Rogers, calls the stats encouraging, but also called it a double-edged sword.
“We had a pretty strong-growing economy prior to the pandemic, and that put us in good stead moving into the pandemic,” Rogers told Global News on Friday afternoon.
“But we also know we’ve had a tough time with recruiting and retaining talent. And it’s a tough labour market out there to find skilled workers.
“It’s a reminder of how challenging it is to recruit and retain employees in the Okanagan because it’s a tight labour market. And why housing affordability is such a big issue for us in the long term.”
Rogers said construction played a role in helping Kelowna reach No. 1, but that the Okanagan is growing in diversity.
That said, he added “there aren’t many (businesses) out there that haven’t been impacted. Certainly, the surveys we get, 90-plus per cent of businesses are facing increased costs and less revenue, so everybody’s feeling it to a certain degree.”
He said part-time labour and youth employment have been impacted, “so there are some areas of concern, even though the numbers are positive.”
Below are January’s figures posted by Statistics Canada, with December’s stats in brackets.
- Unemployment rate: 9.4 per cent (8.8)
- Employment rate: 58.6 per cent (59.3)
- Participation rate: 64.7 per cent (65.0)
- Number unemployed: 1,899,000 (1,773,900)
- Number working: 18,272,000 (18,484,800)
- Youth (15-24 years) unemployment rate: 19.7 per cent (17.8)
- Men (25 plus) unemployment rate: 7.6 per cent (7.5)
- Women (25 plus) unemployment rate: 8.0 per cent (7.0)
Jobless rates for January 2021 by province (numbers from December in brackets):
- Newfoundland and Labrador 12.8 per cent (12.6)
- Prince Edward Island 7.9 per cent (9.9)
- Nova Scotia 8.3 per cent (8.8)
- New Brunswick 8.8 per cent (9.6)
- Quebec 8.8 per cent (6.8)
- Ontario 10.2 per cent (9.6)
- Manitoba 8.0 per cent (8.3)
- Saskatchewan 7.2 per cent (8.0)
- Alberta 10.7 per cent (11.1)
- British Columbia 8.0 per cent (7.2)
Jobless rates for January 2021 by city (numbers from December in brackets):
- St. John’s, N.L., 8.8 per cent (8.3)
- Halifax 7.5 per cent (7.4)
- Moncton, N.B., 9.2 per cent (9.1)
- Saint John, N.B., 12.1 per cent (11.4)
- Saguenay, Que., 6.3 per cent (5.7)
- Quebec City 4.7 per cent (4.3)
- Sherbrooke, Que., 6.2 per cent (5.8)
- Trois-Rivieres, Que., 6.8 per cent (5.9)
- Montreal 8.5 per cent (8.1)
- Gatineau, Que., 7.3 per cent (7.0)
- Ottawa 6.5 per cent (6.8)
- Kingston, Ont., 6.5 per cent (5.9)
- Peterborough, Ont., 12.8 per cent (13.0)
- Oshawa, Ont., 8.4 per cent (7.8)
- Toronto 11.1 per cent (10.7)
- Hamilton, Ont., 6.8 per cent (8.0)
- St. Catharines-Niagara, Ont., 11.5 per cent (9.1)
- Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Ont., 8.3 per cent (8.4)
- Brantford, Ont., 6.9 per cent (6.7)
- Guelph, Ont., 6.3 per cent (5.6)
- London, Ont., 7.7 per cent (7.7)
- Windsor, Ont., 10.3 per cent (11.2)
- Barrie, Ont., 14.2 per cent (12.0)
- Greater Sudbury, Ont., 7.9 per cent (7.6)
- Thunder Bay, Ont., 8.4 per cent (7.6)
- Winnipeg 8.8 per cent (8.6)
- Regina 7.6 per cent (6.3)
- Saskatoon 8.6 per cent (8.2)
- Calgary 10.6 per cent (10.5)
- Edmonton 11.9 per cent (11.4)
- Kelowna, B.C., 4.6 per cent (4.5)
- Abbotsford-Mission, B.C., 7.8 per cent (8.3)
- Vancouver 7.8 per cent (7.3)
- Victoria 5.0 per cent (5.8)