The provincial economy remains strong with an unemployment rate of 4.4 per cent, despite concerns of a slowing economy, giving job seekers attending hiring fairs plenty of options. (Black Press file photo)

The provincial economy remains strong with an unemployment rate of 4.4 per cent, despite concerns of a slowing economy, giving job seekers attending hiring fairs plenty of options. (Black Press file photo)

Greater Victoria unemployment rate remains below provincial, national average

Only Kelowna has a tighter labour market in British Columbia

The local economy added 1,000 jobs in December 2018 compared to the previous month as the local unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 per cent from 3.8 per cent in November, according to Statistics Canada.

RELATED: Health care, scientific jobs top B.C. employment forecast

This figure means that Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate remains below the provincial average of 4.4 per cent, unchanged from November 2018, and below the national average of 5.7 per cent.

British Columbia’s unemployment rate as recorded in December was the lowest in Canada. Ontario had the second lowest unemployment rate (5.4 per cent), followed by Quebec (5.5 per cent), Saskatchewan (5.6 per cent) and Manitoba (six per cent). Alberta (6.4 per cent) had the sixth-lowest unemployment rate.

Comparing Greater Victoria to other parts of the province, only the Kelowna CMA recorded a lower unemployment rate with 3.3 per cent. Vancouver (4.4 per cent) and Abbotsford (4.5 per cent) followed. Looking across Canada, Guelph, Ont., boasted the tightest job market with an unemployment rate of 2.3 per cent, down from three per cent, followed by Kelowna and Victoria.

RELATED: Victoria real estate market approaches balanced condition

Looking at specific industries, construction recorded most of the province-wide gains, followed by resource-extraction industries and construction. Utilities, agriculture, health care, and social assistance were sectors losing jobs. Also losing jobs were the finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing sectors, with job losses reaching 2,200.


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wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com