British Columbia’s job growth took another painful blow last month, even as the rest of the country showed strong signs of economic recovery.
Statistics Canada on Friday said employment in B.C. fell by 9,100 positions, or four per cent, from December, adding to the 12,800 positions shed in the previous month. At the same time, provincial unemployment figures jumped to 8.2 per cent, up from 7.6 per cent in December. The drop puts B.C.’s unemployment rate above that in Ontario, and the rest of the country except the Atlantic provinces.
Declines were seen in manufacturing, forestry and logging and construction. The picture was far rosier elsewhere in Canada where there were 69,200 additional people working in January, much higher than the 15,000 job gains predicted by economists.
Despite the increase in jobs, the national unemployment rate rose to 7.8 per cent in January from 7.6 per cent as more than 106,000 Canadians joined the job hunt. The job-loss story in B.C. took some by surprise.