FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The latest employment numbers from Statistics Canada show BC was the lone bright spot last month, in terms of job creation.
This province was the only one to create a significant number of jobs last month, adding 16,000 positions, while other provinces stayed the same or saw losses.
Doug Porter is the Bank of Montreal, Chief Economist.
Unemployment in BC fell to five point nine per cent last month from six point one in May, and over the past year the province-wide work force has grown three percent, with a gain of 7,000 workers.
However, the BC good news still doesn’t extend into this area which remains embedded in the economic mess associated with the downturn in the oil and gas industry.
It has seen what in recent history has been the countries lowest provincial jobless rate in Alberta jump to seven point nine percent, and it is now the highest rate among the six provinces, west of Atlantic Canada.
We’re still waiting for BC Stats to issue its report on the regional breakdown, but in May the Northeast jobless rate was nine point six percent, the fourth month in a row it had been more than nine percent, and the third consecutive month this region had posted the highest rate in the province.
In addition, the average rate for the first five months of the year was up to nearly 9.3%, about 3% higher than the average four the previous five months.
Across the country, more jobs were created last month in the service sector, but those were offset by layoffs among factory workers.
In addition, although the national unemployment rate fell to six point eight per cent in June from six point nine in May, those numbers were skewed by fewer people looking for work, and the number working had actually dropped by 700.