Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Region's jobless rate up for second straight month

The unemployment rate dropped for Alberta and Calgary last month.					SunMedia The unemployment rate dropped for Alberta and Calgary last month. SunMedia
Ginger Lawrence | 10 June, 2018, 17:54

Northeast B.C.'s unemployment rate was the second-highest of any region in B.C. The lowest rate of unemployment was recorded in the Lower Mainland where only 4.4 percent of the labour force was without work, while the next lowest rate on Vancouver Island was 5.2 percent.

Barrie's unemployment rate dropped in May, but remains one of the highest in the country. That's a decrease of one per cent from April.

Across the country, Stats Canada says the economy saw 7,500 jobs lost in May with 31,000 full-time positions lost.

Nationally, the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8%.

The utilization rate in the manufacturing sector increased to 86.1 percent, its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2000 as durable goods manufacturing rose.

The statistics agency reported June 8 that the unemployment rate for the west coast province dropped from 5 per cent to 4.8 per cent between those two months as more residents left the workforce.

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However, average hourly wages, a key indicator watched by the Bank of Canada, increased 3.9 per cent compared with a year ago, the monthly reading's largest annual increase since April 2009.

"Evidence of labour markets operating slightly beyond capacity with a low unemployment rate and attendant upward pressure on wage growth argue for the Bank of Canada to continue tightening", Ferley wrote in a brief note to clients. Employment in construction fell 13,000.

In accommodation and food services, employment rose by 18,000 in May, driven by growth in British Columbia. That was offset in part by a gain of 23,600 part-time jobs.

Looking across the provinces, most of the decline could be due to B.C., where employment dropped 12.4k in May.

With files from The Canadian Press.