B.C. loses more jobs than any other province in December

Vancouver port workers wait at a dispatch hall | Photo: Chung Chow

What happened: B.C. shed 7,700 jobs in December, according to Statistics Canada

Why it matters: It’s the sixth time in seven months the province has lost jobs

It appears the B.C. job market ended up with a lump of coal over the holiday season.

New data out Friday (January 10) from Statistics Canada reveals the province lost 7,700 jobs in December — more than any other province in the nation.

It’s the sixth time in seven months that B.C. had shed jobs.

Nationwide, however, the labour force added 35,000 jobs as Ontario (+20,400 jobs) and Quebec (+21,100 jobs) made sizeable gains.

Although job numbers fell sharply on the West Coast, the unemployment rate retained the crown of Canada’s lowest at 4.8%, down 0.2 percentage points from a month earlier.

Sectors facing the biggest losses include finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (-6,800 jobs), public administration (-3,600 jobs) and educational services (-3,300 jobs).

Meanwhile, construction (+9,200 jobs), health care and social assistance (+5,200 jobs) and accommodation and food services (+2,800 jobs) were the big winners last month.

“After November's across-the-board disappointment, one could be forgiven for a bit of nervousness ahead of today's report. By no means was the December report a barnburner, but neither is it too concerning,” TD senior economist Brian DePratto said in a note to investors, referring to the national figures.

“Today's data is consistent with [Bank of Canada] governor [Stephen] Poloz's remarks yesterday, where he played it cool. Some aspects of the jobs data, such as wages, have been performing well, while others, such as hours, have not been.”