B.C. saw modest job gains in August, but remains behind pre-COVID employment rates, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.
The unemployment rate fell for the third month in a row, down 0.4 per cent from July to 10.7 per cent in August. It reached a peak of 13.4 per cent in May after COVID-19 protocols and lockdowns went into effect.
Pre-COVID-19 unemployment in BC was the lowest in the country at 4.5 per cent at the end of January. With the gains in jobs this August, employment in the province is at 94.1% of its February level.
Most of the job gains in BC were in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, according to the Ministry of Jobs.
“Family-supporting jobs in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors also made a strong comeback in August, with more than 6,000 people finding work in each of those sectors,” said Minister Michelle Mungall.
“Added to the employment gains we saw in May, June and July, B.C. has now recovered 246,900 jobs.”
Statistics Canada noted that August’s job gains were all in full-time work, while part-time work remained stable. Most job losses attributed to COVID-19 from February to April were in part-time work.
Employment also rose at a higher rate for women than for men for the third month in a row, with 1.8 per cent gains for women compared to 1 per cent for men.