Canadian employment rose slightly to 20.05 million in February, up by 22,000 (0.1 per cent). The Canadian unemployment rate held steady at 5 per cent, hovering just above all-time lows. Employment gains were concentrated in health care and social assistance (+15,000), public administration (+10,000), and utilities (+7,500), while employment fell in business, building and other support services (-11,000). Employment among those aged 55 to 64 rose by 25,000 (+0.7 per cent) as older workers returned to the labour force. Average hourly wages were up 5.4 per cent from February of last year, while total hours worked were up 1.4 per cent year-over-year.
Employment in BC rose by 6,700 (0.2 per cent) to 2.777 million in February, while Metro Vancouver's employment rose by 0.6 per cent month over month. Both BC and Metro Vancouver's unemployment rates jumped to 5.1 per cent, however. This was driven by an increase in workers entering the labour force, particularly middle-aged females, rather than a decrease in employment. BC's unemployment rate now matches Ontario, while Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Quebec have a lower rate.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.
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