Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.3 per cent in November, the lowest in Canada. (News files)

Victoria’s low unemployment rate raises concerns

The Capital Region had the lowest jobless rate in the country for November

Victoria’s unemployment rate for the month of November was the lowest in the country at 3.3 per cent, but the news may not be as good as it seems.

A low jobless rate is generally a good indicator of a healthy economy, said Dallas Gislason, economic development officer with the South Island Prosperity Project. However, when unemployment drops below four per cent, it could be the result of workers leaving the city, which leaves employers having a hard time attracting talent, he said.

“From a pure economic perspective, it is healthy,” he said. “At the same time, we need to look at it holistically … and one of the areas we need to really, really watch closely is the [housing] affordability pressures.”

Gislason pointed to San Francisco as an example. That city has among the highest incomes in North America, but the high cost of housing is forcing some people to move away.

Despite the low jobless numbers, the region lost around 2,000 people from the labour force in November. Employers in some sectors may find they have to raise wages to attract workers, given the cost of renting or buying a home in the region, Gislason added.

RELATED: Labour market ‘unstoppable’ as jobless rate drops to 5.9%

Canada’s overall unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 per cent in November, the lowest in nearly a decade, according to data released today by Statistics Canada.

The unemployment rate for Vancouver Island and the Coast dropped to 4.4 per cent from 4.9 per cent last month. Across the province, 18,000 more people were employed in November, up 3.8 per cent in year-over-year gains, mostly in full-time work.

Canada gained 29,600 full-time and 49,900 part-time jobs in November across the country. Job growth was primarily in the private sector with an additional 72,400 jobs created, while the public sector had 10,600 new jobs.

– With files from the Canadian Press

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

RELATED: Victoria’s unemployment rate lowest in Canada

Just Posted

Victoria BC Transit driver taken to hospital after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

Art takes a personal tone during the 110th anniversary of the Victoria Sketch Club

The 47th annual art show is taking place until March 24

CRD’s 2019 financial plan includes 23 per cent increase for capital projects

Housing, health care and wastewater projects included in 2019 plan

How a scrawny kid from Oak Bay bulked into one of rugby sevens’ best

Doing it for Dylan, Oak Bay’s Connor Braid at the top of his game

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Most Read