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Labour Market Information: Updates & News

We’re your local labour market experts! The Skills Centre is leading the way in distributing accessible, relevant, and timely labour market updates for the Kootenays, British Columbia & Canada. Labour market information can help people and communities make informed decisions – and we are here to help!

Labour Market Debrief & Dashboard

On this page you'll find our analysis of the latest labour market trends and updates and what the information means for our region and the province. You can also find all of our past monthly reports. Contact us if you want to learn more about local labour market info and how it affects you as an employer or an employee.

February 2023 Labour Market Update

Kootenays has BC’s lowest unemployment rate

Job seekers are finding work in the Kootenays. Our population is increasing slowly, and more people are entering the labour force, meaning they are starting to look for work or are starting a job. Fewer people remain unemployed or are leaving the search for employment. All of this adds up to the Kootenays having the lowest unemployment rate in BC in February.

The provincial unemployment rate edged up slightly in February though it is the fourth lowest in Canada.

Women continue to drive job growth in BC with an increase of 15,500 jobs and 26,000 more women in the labour force. Men saw drops in both employment (-7,600) and labour participation (-2,700) during the same period.

42,500 more women and 9,500 more men are in jobs in BC than this time last year.

Brenda Bailey, BC’s Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, noted that in February, “all of the job growth seen was from women’s employment” and emphasized the province’s commitment to creating an economy that works for everyone.

Across Canada, 9.6 million women were employed in February, representing close to 60% of all women 15 years and older now working. Women 55 to 64 years also experienced record high employment during the month. Although women continue to reach highs around representation in work, the gender pay gap continues to disappoint as women average close to $5.00 less per hour than men.

Let’s take a look at what the rest of February’s labour market data had to say:

Kootenays* 1,300 additional people entered the labour force this month 1,700 people found a job Unemployment rate dropped .6%, to 2.9%

BC** 28,600 additional people started participating in the labour force 6,700 people found a job Unemployment rate was 5.1%, still one of the lowest in Canada

Canada** 42,200 additional people started participating in the labour force Unemployment rate held steady at 5%, same as January People 55-64 saw employment gains again, continuing the upward trend that started last August

Job growth was spread throughout industries and occupations. Below are the highlights showing the highest overall increases in jobs. These numbers include unemployed persons starting a new job, persons new to the labour market starting a new job, and people already employed who changed jobs or industries.

Kootenays

  1. 1,700 jobs in law, education, social community and government services (except management)
  2. 1,000 jobs in trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (except management)
  3. 700 jobs in art, culture, recreation and sport (except management)

BC

  1. 8,100 jobs in health care and social assistance
  2. 5,200 in agriculture
  3. 3,300 in professional, scientific, and tech services

Canada

  1. 15,000 jobs in health care and social assistance
  2. 10,000 jobs in public administration
  3. 7,500 jobs in utilities

Considering entering the labour market? Let’s see how we can help!

  • Learn about our programs and services here or contact us to find out more.
  • Check out our job board – a great resource for job seekers!
  • Sign up here for our quarterly newsletter, Community Chatter, to stay connected.

Questions or comments? Alia Locken, Research Officer at the Skills Centre, prepared this release. Contact her through email alocken@skillscentre.ca or phone 250-368-6360 ext 223.

*Unadjusted **Adjusted

January 2023 Labour Market Update

Angst about the economy? You are not alone.

86% of Canadians are concerned about inflation and higher prices, according to a survey from the Workforce Confidence Index on LinkedIn. Age is a slight factor in levels of concern, with Millennials the most concerned (91%), followed by Gen X at 87% and Baby Boomers at 84%.

Millennials also noted the highest impacts to their mental health due to economic stress. People in all age groups are looking for ways to reduce costs or increase income.

This is reflected in the January Labour Force Survey which shows increases in the number of people who started to look for work alongside the continued low unemployment rates across the country. During uncertain economic times or periods of rising costs, it is common to see an influx of people starting to look for work out of necessity.

Let’s take a quick scan of what else the labour force had to say for January:

Kootenays

  • 2,400 people started their search for work
  • 1,800 people found a job
  • 600 people became unemployed
  • Unemployment rate was 3.5%, up .6%

Top industries where people got jobs:

  1. 1,300 jobs in health occupations (excluding management)
  2. 1,100 jobs in trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (except management)
  3. 800 jobs in law, education, social community and government services (except management)

BC

  • 15,300 people started their search for work
  • 7,700 people found a job
  • Unemployment rate was 4.4%, fourth lowest in Canada and down .3%

Top industries where people got jobs:

  1. 4,100 jobs in construction
  2. 1,400 jobs in agriculture
  3. 1,000 jobs in utilities

Canada

  • 153,000 people started their search for work in January
  • Unemployment rate was 5%
  • Non-permanent residents led Canada’s population growth at the fastest rate seen in over 50 years during the third quarter of 2022 (July - October)
  • People looking for work was up amongst all major demographic groups, particularly women 25-54 and people 55-64 years

Top industries where people got jobs:

  1. 59,000 jobs in wholesale and retail trade
  2. 40,000 jobs in health care and social assistance
  3. 18,000 jobs in educational services

Are you considering entering the labour market? We can help. Find more about our programs and services or contact us to find out more. Our job board is a great resource for job seekers as well.

Our dedicated team is ready to help.

Alia Locken, Research Officer at the Skills Centre, prepared the data analysis and interpretations presented on this page. If you have questions or comments contact Alia at alocken@skillscentre.ca or (250)368-6360 ext 223

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