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

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Small crowd gathers to watch 231-tonne stacker-reclaimer load onto barge crane

The Dynamic Beast barge crane, known for work with Johnson Street Bridge, makes a return

National Drug Drop-Off month aims to reduce substance abuse by house-bound youth

Expert says there is misconception prescribed medication is safe to take

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary hosts pop-up fundraiser in Sidney

Temporary store to feature unique hand made gifts, collectibles, clothing, books and more

Victoria mayor wants newspaper boxes removed from downtown streets

Mayor Lisa Helps says the boxes are not needed, often filled with garbage

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

SOOKE HISTORY: A peek into the journal of John George Whiffin

Elida Peers | Contributed One of our most popular walks is on… Continue reading

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Most Read