Business

Central Okanagan labour market woes continue

Some positive news about job creation gains in the province in some regions weren't shared in the Thompson Okanagan Labour market.

Pat Bell, B.C.'s Minister of Jobs, Skill Training, Tourism and Labour, announced today that the province gained 19,800 jobs this month, seeing positive job creation results in both full-time and part-time employment.

With an additional 20,200 people entering the labour force, the unemployment rate is unchanged at 6.3 per cent.

Compared to this time last year, employment is up by 4,700 in the Vancouver Island and Coast region; up by 15,400 in the Lower Mainland/Southwest; Kootenay by 3,300; and the Northeast by 400.

However, declines were registered in the Thompson Okanagan, Cariboo and the North Coast Nechako regions.

The unemployment rate was down throughout the province by 0.7 per cent from February 2012, with Prince George reporting a drop of 2.9 percentage points and Kamloops 3.3 percentage points.

B.C.'s average hourly wage rate of $24.26 in February was up by 2.1 per cent compared with February 2012. For B.C. youth under 25, the average hourly wage in February was $14.73, up by 6.2 per cent compared with February 2012.

Employment amongst youth (aged 15-24) increased in February by 3,600 jobs compared to January 2013. Women (over 24 years old) also fared well by adding 15,800 positions while men (over 24 years old) added 600 positions.

In February, strong gains were recorded in accommodation and food services (gained 6,100 jobs or +3.4 per cent), agriculture (gained 5,600 jobs or +21.1 per cent) and finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (gained 5,500 jobs or +4.0 per cent).

The biggest losses were felt in manufacturing (lost 7,000 jobs or - 4.2 per cent), utilities (lost 2,200 jobs or -15.4 per cent), and professional, scientific and technical services (lost 1,400 jobs or -0.8 per cent).

Since February 2012, B.C. has added 15,400 jobs, as a result of a gain of 23,600 full-time positions combined with a loss of 8,100 part-time positions.

"There are many reasons to be confident about B.C.'s economy. We are bringing new dollars into the province through increased investment and more exports to trading partners in Asia and beyond. In turn, we're creating the opportunity for more jobs for hard-working British Columbians," Bell said.

"It's also positive to see that today, on International Women's Day, we have nearly 16,000 more women in the workforce than we did this time last year."

For more information on the labour market results, see B.C.'s one-stop working resource www.workbc.ca.

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