Though COVID-19 has affected many across the province’s workforce, Victoria’s unemployment rate is still continuing to decline, according to Statistics Canada.
In Statistics Canada’s monthly labour force survey released on Friday, British Columbia’s unemployment rate as a whole was at 7.2 per cent in December, which is up slightly from 7.1 per cent the previous month.
Despite this, Victoria’s numbers clock in at 5.8 per cent in December, which is down from 6.3 per cent in the month past.
Similarly, Vancouver’s unemployment rate was at 7.4 per cent, down from 8.1 percent, and Kelowna’s showed a slight change at 4.5 per cent, down from 4.7 per cent.
Not all of British Columbia’s cities were created equal, though, as Abbotsford-Mission saw its unemployment rate climb slightly last month.
In November, the region’s rate was 8.1 per cent, but in December, it rose to 8.4 per cent.
Before the official state of emergency was declared in the province in February, BC’s unemployment rate was five per cent as a whole.
“BC’s total employment has now bounced back to 98.7% of pre-pandemic levels, but certain sectors like tourism and hospitality are still struggling. We are also seeing disproportionate impacts on people of colour who are both business owners and employees,” Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economy Recovery and Innovation said in response to Statistics Canada’s latest report.
“There is reason for hope in the long term as independent economists predict BC will lead all provinces with the highest gross domestic product growth in 2021 and the lowest unemployment – but only if we are successful in bending the curve and reducing transmission.”
Additionally, over one-quarter of Canadians worked from home in December, according to today’s report.
Amid the first COVID-19 economic shutdown in April, 41.6 percent of people who worked at least half their usual hours worked them from home.
This fell steadily to 25.6 per cent in September as things opened up a bit more, but as the number of COVID-19 cases climbed in the fall, the number of Canadians working from home reached 28.6 per cent in December.