B.C. employment growth sees little change for July: survey

Employment numbers in B.C. was not collected in certain communities due to forest fires   

Despite a drop in July, BC still leads all provinces with a 3.6% employment pace in the past year. FILE/SHUTTERSTOCK

Employment growth in B.C. showed little change since June after the number of people employed went down by 0.2 percentage points in July.

While full-time employment rose by 0.4 percentage points, part-time employment fell 2.3 percentage points from June to July, according to the latest report issued by Statistics Canada.

B.C.’s July unemployment numbers also went up by 3.9 percentage points from June's figures.

“Despite a drop in July, BC still leads all provinces with a 3.6% employment pace in the past year,” said Economist Avery Shenfeld of CIBC.

However, StatsCan did note that - due to the impact of forest fires in B.C. - they were unable to collect data from communities affected by the forest fires. But the federal agency also said the impact of the data from these small communities is minimal to provincial estimates.

On a national scale, job-related numbers also saw little change. The employment rate went up in July by 0.1%., while the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 6.3%. The latter figure marks the lowest such rate since October 2008, according to the report.

“Low unemployment at the national level supports the Bank of Canada’s expectation that slack in the economy will be absorbed later this year,” says Economist Josh Nye at RBC.

Statistics show employment increased mostly among women aged 55 and older in July, while the employment change in other demographics was minimal.

For people aged 25 to 54, employment remained steady. The July unemployment rate for that demographic increased 0.2 percentage points to 5.6%.

By province, StatsCan's July report saw Ontario and Manitoba report employment increases, while three provinces - Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island - recorded declines.