B.C. continues to have lowest unemployment rate in Canada

B.C. unemployment rate declines 0.3 percentage points to 5.6% but unemployment across Canada is up

Employment was up in the U.S. but down in Canada, according to new data released August 5

British Columbia continued to have the lowest unemployment rate in the country with the jobless rate falling 0.3 percentage points to 5.6%, according to Statistics Canada data released August 5.

Employment rose in the province by 12,000 in July, extending an upward trend that began in the spring of 2015.

Estimated B.C. employment climbed to a seasonally adjusted 2.39 million people in July. That is up 0.5%, or 12,100 people, from June and 3.7% from a year ago.

Canadawide, it was not as rosy a picture.

After three months of little change, employment declined by 31,000 people, or by 0.2%, in July. The unemployment rate nationwide increased 0.1 percentage point to 6.9%.

Stateside, the U.S. Labour Department also released job numbers for July on August 5.

Employment there was substantially above what experts had been predicting. The U.S. economy added 255,000 jobs, according to the Labour Department.

The U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 4.9% and the participation rate inched higher to 62.8% while the number of those considered not in the labour force fell 184,000 people to 94.3 million people.

U.S. stock markets rose on the news and pundits were predicting that the news may increase the chance that the U.S. Fed will raise interest rates before the November U.S. election. The likelihood of that happening, however, is still considered to be less than 50%.

The Canadian dollar fell by about one cent U.S. on the weak employment data. The loonie was worth about US$0.7585 at press time.

gkorstrom@biv.com 

@GlenKorstrom