According to Statistics Canada, unemployment in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) hit 10.1 per cent in May 2020. (Black Press Media File)

COVID-19 pushes unemployment in Greater Victoria beyond 10 per cent

Provincial unemployment stood at 13.4 per cent while national unemployment hit 13.7 per cent

Unemployment in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) hit double-digits in May 2020 against the backdrop of COVID-19.

According to the latest Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada, unemployment in Greater Victoria hit 10.1 per cent in May, up from 7.2 in April 2020. In March, regional unemployment stood at 4.6 per cent and 3.4 per cent in February.

These spikes reflect the various measures including travel restrictions, business closures and physical distancing that added up to what the survey called an “intentional shutdown of the economy” resulted in an “unprecedented shock” to the Canadian labour market, including employment losses of more than 3 million.

Greater Victoria’s economy — one of the strongest in Canada, as measured by unemployment figure — was not immune to this shock, with the proviso that the regional unemployment rate has consistently remained below the provincial average (13.4 per cent) and national average (13.7 per cent), the highest rate recorded since comparable data became available in 1976. In February, prior to the COVID-19 economic shutdown, the unemployment rate was 5.6 per cent before rising to 7.8 per cent in March and 13 per cent in April.

RELATED: Unemployment rate in Greater Victoria has doubled, compared to February

Looking beyond the big picture, the available data a great deal of variability across a range of industries, age groups, and provinces, with provincial differences reflecting differences in the easing of restrictions.

As the report says, COVID-19 economic shutdowns had the most severe impact on industries where working from home was less practical and on lower-wage workers. Lower-wage jobs have since rebound the most with the initial easing of restrictions. This said, low-wage workers continue to have a higher share of people working less than half of their usual hours for COVID-19-related reasons, compared to other paid employees. In May, 24.3 per cent of all low-wage workers worked less than 50 per cent of their usual hours, compared with 9.6 per cent for all other paid employees.

Female workers, young workers and workers who recently arrived in Canada as immigrants also continue to suffer disproportionately from the economic effects of the pandemic.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Garden-sharing map connects Victoria landowners and gardeners

U-Map created by Young Agrarians after COVID-19 created uptick in garden matching requests

Saanich wins award for climate plan cut from 2020 budget

‘It’s truly an exceptional plan,’ says councillor disappointed with lack of funding

Oak Bay Grade 8 students end time at Monterey with drive-through goodbye

School holds socially-distanced completion ceremony

CRD warns of toxic algae bloom at Thetis Lake Regional Park

Visitors advised to avoid swimming in lake, keep pets out of water

Saanich police, pound respond to possible cougar sighting

Cougar possibly seen in area of 4500-block of Chatterton Way

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read