VICTORIA – Despite an overall national drop in employment, primarily in full-time positions, British Columbia’s economy remains stable. As British Columbia starts the new year, most of its regions are recording steady job gains over this time in January 2012.
Employment is up from a year ago in the Vancouver Island and Coast region by 11,200; Lower Mainland/Southwest by 10,600; Kootenay by 1,800; Cariboo by 1,100; and the Northeast by 1,100. Declines are recorded in the Thompson Okanagan and the North Coast Nechako regions.
B.C.’s average hourly wage rate in January was up by 2.2 per cent compared with January 2012, moving B.C. to third in Canada behind Alberta and Saskatchewan. The average hourly wage in the province now stands at $24.28.
Employment among youth (aged 15-24) increased in January by 1,700 jobs. Men (over 24 years old) also fared well by adding 4,400 positions.
The forestry, fishing, mining and gas-extraction sector continues to experience steady growth over this time last year showing a growth of 5,100 jobs. In addition, the professional, scientific and technical services are up 11,400 from last year.
Since January 2012, B.C. has added 1,800 jobs, as a result of a gain of 31,900 full-time positions combined with a loss of 30,100 part-time positions.
Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“It is always difficult to see job losses in British Columbia. But we have a plan and we are sticking with that plan. We continue to see investment, and with that investment will come jobs.”
“Last year, we recorded seven months where full-time employment increased in B.C. and there were improved labour market conditions across the province. I have no doubt that, despite continued economic volatility, B.C. will continue to attract investment, and create jobs for British Columbians.”
2012 Year in Review:
* The British Columbia economy added 27,700 full-time positions in 2012, increasing overall employment by 17,700. Part-time positions declined by 10,100 over the same period (December 2011 to December 2012).
* B.C. ranked fourth in Canada for full-time job creation behind Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta from December 2011 to December 2012.
* Of all the job gains made between December 2011 and December 2012, women account for the majority. Employment for women climbed by 14,700 while employment amongst males increased by only 3,000 over
the same period.
* The downward trend in the provincial unemployment rate continued in 2012, ending the year at 6.4 per cent, down from 7.0 per cent in December 2011.
* At year’s end, there were 14,300 fewer unemployed people in the province than there were in December 2011.
* Improved labour market conditions were not just concentrated in one area of the province. In 2012, only one region of the province ended the year with an unemployment rate higher than it started (the Kootenay region saw a slight increase of 0.2 per cent over its
December 2011 level of 6.8 per cent).
* Regions boasting the strongest growth in employment from December 2011 to December 2012 were the Northeast (an employment increase of 2,900 or 7.7 per cent), Cariboo (an employment increase of 3,500 or
4.3 per cent), and Vancouver Island/Coast (an employment increase of 12,400 or 3.5 per cent).
* Both the goods-producing sectors and the service-producing sectors added jobs between December 2011 and December 2012, up 1.4 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively. Major job gains were seen in utilities (up 57 per cent or 5,900 jobs), educational services (up 15 per cent or 24,600 jobs), and business, building and other support services (up 13 per cent or 10,600 jobs). Sectors that declined in 2012 were professional, scientific, and technical services (down 10 per cent, or 19,600 jobs) and transportation and warehousing (down seven per cent or 8,300 jobs).
* B.C.’s average hourly wage rate increased by 2.2 per cent in 2012. For B.C. youth under 25, the average hourly wage was up by 5.8 per cent in December 2012 from December 2011. The increase in youth wages was helped, in part, by an increase in the provincial minimum wage in