BC gained 14,400 jobs in August – employment is now above pre-pandemic levels for third month

For the third month in a row, Canada’s Labour Force Survey showed BC was the only province in the country with employment above pre-pandemic levels, the provincial jobs ministry said.

In a news release Friday, Labour Minister Ravi Kahlon said BC’s job recovery rate last month was 101.1 per cent.

According to the federal survey, BC’s unemployment rate was at 6.2 per cent in August, down from July’s rate of 6.6 percent.

“The Labour Force Survey for August shows that BC is making great strides in our economic recovery,” Kahlon said in a statement, adding that of the jobs added, 13,600 were among women and all job gains were full time.

More locally, two areas of BC saw increases in their unemployment rates.

Kelowna’s rate rose slightly from 5.6 per cent to 5.7 last month. The Abbotsford-Mission census subdivision increased from 5.4 to 5.9.

Meanwhile, Vancouver’s rate lowered from 7.6 per cent to 7.2. Victoria’s rate also dropped slightly from 4.3 per cent. 4.2.

“These numbers show we are doing well, but we know there is more work to do. We continue to support the strength of our economic recovery with the BC Vaccine Card coming into effect on Sept. 13, 2021,” Kahlon said in a statement.

“We all understand that a healthy economy and a healthy BC go hand in hand, so do your part and get vaccinated. Taking this important step is the best and easiest way to put COVID-19 in the past and set our province on a path for a strong economic recovery.”

When the pandemic first hit last year, the unemployment rate rose significantly in the province, reaching a high of 13.4 per cent in May. At the time, officials connected that high figure to economic slowdown from the province’s COVID-19 response.

Unemployment gradually decreased as businesses reopened last spring and summer, but rose again slightly at the start of 2021.

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