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‘Next to impossible’: Kelowna company struggling to hire qualified workers

Click to play video: '‘It’s next to impossible right now’; Kelowna company struggling  to hire qualified workers'
‘It’s next to impossible right now’; Kelowna company struggling to hire qualified workers
The unemployment rate in Kelowna is 4.4 per cent -- one of the lowest in the country – Nov 6, 2021

It appears finding a job these days is actually quite easy.

The tough part is being a business owner trying to hire and maintain staff.

Read more: Manitoba employment rate ‘just fine’ as Canada’s jobless rate continues to drop

“Finding someone that’s qualified and that wants to show up and work — it’s next to impossible right now,” said Tyson Wokoeck, Luxclusv Group’s CEO.

The Luxclusv Group, a real estate and development company in Kelowna, is experiencing the struggle.

It’s having a hard time finding working professionals to join the team.

“Getting people to apply right now is painful. We are advertising on ten different sites, spending a lot of money,” said Wokoeck.

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“We are interviewing maybe a couple people every week but yet no one seems to show up for the job. We are paying competitive rates, well over actually, and we are still not getting what we are looking for.”

Read more: Alberta follows national trend of lower unemployment, but not all Albertans still seeking work

The jobless rate in Kelowna is 4.4 per cent — one of the lowest in the country, according to a Statistics Canada report, and a far cry from the 10.2 per cent seen in the summer of 2020 during the height COVID-19 lockdowns.

B.C.’s unemployment rate is sitting at 5.9 per cent with a full-time workforce of around 2.1 million people and only 160,000 British Columbians without a job.

Read more: Restaurants still struggling as unemployment nears pre-COVID-19 levels: industry body

Overall across the country, there are almost 900,000 job vacancies, according to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

It said filling those jobs will be difficult, citing the lack of qualified workers as a major issue.

“The fact is the hard part begins now. Talent is an issue in every sector, at every level of the value chain, in every part of the country, and there’s no silver bullet fix at hand,” said Leah Nord, Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s senior director of workforce strategies.

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Other unemployment rates across B.C. include Vancouver at 6.7 per cent and Victoria at 4.4 per cent.

Click to play video: 'Kelowna livable wage sitting at $18.49'
Kelowna livable wage sitting at $18.49

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