British Columbia is the lone province with employment gains in the country.
According to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada, our province created 70 thousand jobs over the last year. More than 16 thousand jobs were created in B.C. in June. Associate Partner with KPMG, Stan Mitchell says that job growth is very important to our economy. “Within the Cariboo district, it shows the employment levels are pretty much holding steady and actually the unemployment levels are dropping, it was about a point one per cent drop.”
Unemployment levels are indeed dropping in B.C, down to 5.9 per cent in June from 6.1 per cent in May. In Prince George, the unemployment rate is up slightly to 7.7 per cent from 7.4 per cent in June of 2015.
However, Mitchell says there’s an explanation for that. He says many people may be traveling outwards for jobs, some working on oil and gas wells. “We have a lot of people that work on those (wells) that might travel out and now they may not be employed or they may have pulled out of the labour force for a bit or gone elsewhere, so you really have to look at how your overall economy is doing in that respect.”
Across Canada, manufacturing employment is down by 13 thousand in June, but employment in information, culture, and recreation is up by 14 thousand. Employment in natural resources held steady in June as it was down 11.4 per cent from 12 months earlier, with most of this decrease taking place since the start of 2016.
Meanwhile, the accommodation and food services industry is thriving as employment increased for the third time in four months, creating 20 thousand jobs across the country. General Manager of the Ramada Plaza Prince George, Heather Oland, says she’s noticed the changes. “We’ve certainly seen an increase in the food and beverage part of our business beyond the first quarter, so January, February, and March we’re a little slower than anticipated.”