Canada may have been in the throes of an October election campaign but British Columbians kept very busy in the workforce.
B.C. added 23,000 jobs to the economy last month and boosted its annual growth rate to the top of the pack among provinces, according to Statistics Canada data released Friday (November 6).
The province’s 3% growth in employment has amounted to 67,000 new jobs since October 2014, bolstering an earlier forecast from the Conference Board of Canada that B.C. would lead the country in economic growth in 2015.
Even after B.C. job growth remained muted for the past few months, that 3% growth rate in employment is the highest across the country.
Meanwhile, the province’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.3% as more people entered the workforce.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 7% as the country added 44,000 jobs, all but 9,000 of which were part-time positions.
“Despite a contraction in real GDP in the first half of 2015, Canada's labour market continues to hold up better than expected,” TD economist Leslie Preston wrote in a note to investors.
“In October, part of this can be chalked up to temporary election-related hiring, but private sector job growth was still strong.”
BMO chief economist Douglas Porter noted that while Ontario added 29,200 jobs last month, most of those positions were in less stable retail and public administration jobs.
But B.C.’s gains were more widespread, he wrote to investors.
“Overall, the economy looks to be grinding along at a pace just fast enough to absorb population growth and keep the unemployment rate pegged at around 7% for now,” Porter wrote.