B.C. employment edged up marginally in February for the first time in three months. According to the latest information released by Statistics Canada, seasonally-adjusted employment rose by 8,900 individuals or 0.4 per cent from January, regaining some of the 21,900 jobs lost over the preceding two months. Despite the increase, overall employment gains have been relatively lacklustre since mid-2010.
The unemployment rate also moved sharply higher in February, rising 0.6 percentage points to 8.8 per cent reflecting higher labour force expansion. A higher labour force participation rate contributed to this move, which can be interpreted as a positive development as discouraged workers re-enter job search.