Greater Victoria is defying national and provincial employment trends as the unemployment rate in December dropped to 5.8 per cent. (Black Press Media File)

Greater Victoria is defying national and provincial employment trends as the unemployment rate in December dropped to 5.8 per cent. (Black Press Media File)

Dropping unemployment rate in Greater Victoria defies national and provincial picture

Broader trends such as high youth unemployment are solidifying

New figures show the unemployment rate in Greater Victoria dropped in December 2020, defying broader national trends.

Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) recorded an unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent in December, down 0.5 per cent from the preceding month. The national unemployment rate remained at 8.6 per while the provincial rate rose by 0.1 per cent to 7.2 per cent during the same period. Of the four CMAs in British Columbia, Victoria recorded the second-lowest rate, behind Kelowna with a rate of 4.5 per cent but ahead of Vancouver with a rate of 7.4 per cent.

The current picture unfolding against COVID-19 restrictions marks a reversal of recent trends. For the first time since April, employment fell by 63,000. Statistics Canada said in its analysis that job losses were most directly affected by new and continuing public health measures, including accommodation and food services; information, culture and recreation and ‘other services’ which include personal and laundry services

Measures of part-time, self-employment and hours worked also dropped in December.

RELATED: Canadian economy lost 63,000 jobs in Dec., first decline since April

If these figures offer a momentary snapshot of the economic picture, the new figures also show previous trends solidifying.

First, the number of active businesses in September 2020 was 7.2 per cent lower than in February 2020. Second, employment among youth aged 15 to 24 continues to fall behind pre-COVID 19 levels in notable contrast to employment levels for individuals aged 25 to 54, with no group of workers closer to pre-COVID employment levels than this ‘core-aged’ population. Immigrants (especially recent ones) and Indigenous Canadians are also struggling to catch up.

The new analysis also shows that working from home remains prominent in several industries, including professional, scientific and technical services; finance; insurance; real estate; rental and leasing; and public administration. “These industries have the lowest proportions of workers in occupations that typically require close physical proximity to others, and all have regained or surpassed February employment levels,” it reads.

By contrast, the accommodation and food services industry, where work generally requires close physical proximity to others, recorded the lowest share of employees working from home in both April and December.

Overall, the number of people working from home is rising again (albeit at a slow pace) after hitting a peak in April (41.6 per cent) and a low in September (25.6 per cent) since the start of the pandemic.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

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

Just Posted

Sooke council has sent a letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy calling for a province-wide ban on the use of rat poison. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke calls for ban on rat poison across B.C.

Letter of support follows similar move by City of North Vancouver

What was previously thought to be a flu shot fraud was actually a booking error, West Shore RCMP confirmed Jan. 27. (Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATED: Flu shot fraud actually booking error by Colwood London Drugs

West Shore RCMP previously said error was work of fraudsters

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed as Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

A property at 1224 Richardson St. in Victoria is the subject of a rezoning application that seeks permission to build three low-rise buildings with 24 units, including four that would rent for below market rate. (Google Streetview)
Victoria development in Fairfield features subsidized housing element

Public hearings this Thursday (Jan. 28) for proposals on Richardson Street and Heywood Avenue

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
(B.C. government photo)
POLL: Would you like to see restrictions on travel to B.C. from other provinces?

With a host of more virulent strains of COVID-19 appearing across the… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 26

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

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read