According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in Greater Victoria rose to 5.7 per cent in March 2021, an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to February 2021. But the local unemployment rate remains the among the lowest in Canada. (Black Press Media File)

According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in Greater Victoria rose to 5.7 per cent in March 2021, an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to February 2021. But the local unemployment rate remains the among the lowest in Canada. (Black Press Media File)

Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate rises to 5.7 per cent

The increase marks a reversal from recent months, but local economy among the strongest in Canada

Unemployment in Greater Victoria rose in March according to new figures.

Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) recorded a seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent in March 2021, an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to February.

The unemployment rate in Victoria CMA was lower than the respective CMAs of Vancouver (eight per cent) and Abbotsford-Mission (6.3 per cent), but higher than Kelowna (five per cent).

These new local figures stand in contrast to recent months, as the local unemployment rate has been declining steadily since its peak in the summer months of 2020.

RELATED: Economy adds 303,000 jobs in March, unemployment rate falls: Statistics Canada

The sectors of accommodation and food services, information, culture and recreation and construction all recorded declining numbers. This said, the region’s employment remains among the most robust in the country. Only Quebec City (4.9 per cent) and Kelowna (five per cent) recorded lower unemployment rates than Victoria, which was tied for third nationally with Sherbrooke.

Provincially, the unemployment rate stood unchanged at 6.9 per cent, while the national unemployment rate dropped by 0.7 to 7.5 per cent.

The national figure means unemployment in Canada is at its lowest level since February 2020.

“This reflected strong employment growth that exceeded the number of people entering the labour market,” reads a report from Statistics Canada.

The numbers reflect labour market conditions during the week of March 14 to 20, before B.C. implemented a three-week lockdown described as a ‘circuit breaker’ to help break rising COVID-19 infections. Ontario and Quebec have instituted comparable measures.


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