According to Statistics Canada, Greater Victoria’s unemployment was 5.4 per cent in June, down 0.9 per cent compared to May. (Black Press Media file photo)

According to Statistics Canada, Greater Victoria’s unemployment was 5.4 per cent in June, down 0.9 per cent compared to May. (Black Press Media file photo)

Lifting of public health measures drops unemployment rate in Greater Victoria

Victoria Census Metropolitan Area records lowest unemployment rate in June among CMAs in B.C.

The unemployment rate of the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) dropped almost one full per cent last month.

Labour conditions during the week of June 13 to 19 pegged the unemployment rate in the area at 5.4 per cent, down from 6.3 per cent during the same reference period in May.

The drop largely reflects the lifting of public health measures. “Most indoor and outdoor dining, recreation and cultural activities, retail shopping, and personal care services had resumed or continued in eight provinces (including British Columbia), with varying degrees of capacity restrictions,” it reads.

Local figures underscore this development. The number of employed residents in Victoria rose by a total of 4,000 to 214,200 with significant increases in the services-producing sector. Within that sector, accommodation and food services added 1,300 jobs, while businesses offering professional, scientific and technical services added another 1,200 jobs. Looking more broadly, the accommodation and food services sector added 6,300 jobs since February.

RELATED: Unemployment rate in Greater Victoria stagnates at 6.3 per cent in May

Information, culture and recreation, another sector hit hard by COVID-19 measures, added 2,900 jobs since February 2021.

On the other side of the equation, the sector of health care and social assistance has been losing jobs. Whereas that sector employed some 29,900 people in February, it employed 3,000 fewer people by June.

Notably, local unemployment figures reflect the state before the additional easing of public health measures that were announced on July 1.

Relative to the rest of the province, the regional unemployment rate stood at 6.6 per cent, down from seven per cent. Of the four CMAs in British Columbia, Victoria CMA recorded the lowest unemployment, ahead of Abbotsford-Mission (5.7 per cent), Kelowna (6.3 per cent) and Vancouver (7.5 per cent). Relative to other CMAs across the country, Victoria CMA ranks in the upper echelon with Trois-Rivieres in Quebec recording an unemployment rate of 4.4 per cent.

The national unemployment rate stood at 7.8 per cent, down 0.4 per cent.


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wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Greater Victoria