Canada-wide, employment rose by nearly one million jobs in June with retail and the service industry seeing the largest gains.
British Columbia added 118,000 jobs in June as the province continued reopening its economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Statistic Canada report released Friday.
Almost half of those jobs, 54,800, are in the service industry.
“While these numbers are encouraging, the road ahead is a challenging one, as total job losses since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic remain at 235,000.,” said B.C. Finance Minister Carole James.
Finance Minister Carol James says the latest numbers paint a picture of cautious optimism with a long road ahead on B.C.’s path to recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She says job gains in May and June bring back about 40 per cent of the total number of jobs lost since February.
However, B.C.’s unemployment rate still sits at 13 per cent, down slightly from 13.4 per cent in May but well above the pre-pandemic rate of 5 per cent in February.
Canada-wide, employment rose by nearly one million jobs (953,000) in June with retail (184,000) and the service industry (164,000) seeing the largest gains. However, Stats Canada said employment in both industries remained well below pre-COVID-19 February levels.
“By the week of June 14 to June 20, employment in accommodation and food services was 66.7 per cent of its February level. Retail trade was further along in its recovery, with employment in June being 88.7 per cent of the February level,” the report said.
The cumulative two-month gain in employment, at 1.24 million, is still 41 per cent of the three million lost jobs in March and April. The jobless rate in May was the highest in almost a century.
In B.C., the unemployment rate among young people (15-24 years old) remained high in June at 29.1 per cent, which was slight increase over May’s rate of 28.9 per cent and a staggering 19.6 per cent above June 2019 levels.
June’s unemployment rate among men (25 and over) in B.C. was 9.3 per cent, down 0.7 per cent from May and up 5.7 per cent from June 2019. The unemployment rate for B.C. women in June was at 11.4 per cent, down a full percentage point from May but up 7.6 per cent over last June.
At 14.6 per cent, Northern B.C. has the highest unemployment rate in the province, followed by the south coast at 13.7 per cent and the city of Vancouver at 12.9 per cent.
Statscan says unemployment sits at 11.3 per cent in Victoria and 8.8 per cent in Abbotsford.
With files from Bloomberg News
MORE TO COME
Original Link: https://theprovince.com/news/covid-19-b-c-economy-grew-by-118000-jobs-in-june/wcm/80cc47ec-b38b-4521-888d-64273ab981ac