B.C. swaps part-time jobs for full-time employment in May

The province lost 1,900 jobs overall, according to Statistics Canada

The British Columbia economy lost 23,200 part-time positions in May, but added 21,300 full-time jobs, according to Statistics Canada's latest labour force survey.

Overall, the province shed 1,900 jobs last month.

In the last two months alone, B.C. has lost 60,600 part-time positions, the result of restrictions imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Unemployment edged down 10 basis points to 7%. The Canadian average is 8.2%. Only Quebec (6.6%) and Saskatchewan (6.3%) have lower rates of unemployment than B.C. 

Nationally, the economy lost 68,000 jobs on a monthly basis, adding to a loss of more than 200,000 positions in April. Most of the decline was concentrated in part-time work (-54,200) due to restrictions in provinces such as B.C. and Quebec that disproportionately affect sectors with a high number of part-time workers.

Step 1 of B.C.'s restart plan took effect May 25. The re-opening of indoor dining and other activities is not reflected in the latest job numbers.

The next step in the plan, which could take effect as early as June 15, will lift travel restrictions within B.C., and likely support B.C.'s struggling tourism sector.