The region recorded an unemployment rate of 3.6 per cent in May 2019, an increase of 0.5 per cent compared to April 2019. (Derek Ford/District of Saanich)

The region recorded an unemployment rate of 3.6 per cent in May 2019, an increase of 0.5 per cent compared to April 2019. (Derek Ford/District of Saanich)

Greater Victoria records increase in unemployment as labour force grows

Three Census Metropolitian Areas (CMAs) from Quebec record the lowest unemployment rates

Greater Victoria saw its unemployment rate rise in losing its status as the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) with the lowest unemployment anywhere in Canada.

The region recorded an unemployment rate of 3.6 per cent in May 2019, an increase of 0.5 per cent compared to April 2019. (The figures themselves represent a three-month moving average, seasonally adjusted). This increase, however, coincided with an increase in the labour force and particpation. The size of the regional labour force (employed or unemployed individuals aged 15 years and older) rose from 197,100 to 199,400, with corresponding rise in labour participation. In other words, more people have joined the labour force.

With more people looking to work, it is therefore not surprising to see the unemployment rate rise, since it measures the people, who are looking for work, but have not found any.

RELATED: Greater Victoria records lowest unemployment rate in Canada for April

Among CMAs in British Columbia, Vancouver and Kelowna share the second-lowest unemployment with 4.2 per cent in May, with Abbotsford–Mission recording an unemployment rate of 5.6 per cent.

British Columbia as a whole recorded an unemployment rate of 4.3 per cent — a figure, 1.2 per cent lower than the national rate of 5.4 per cent, as unemployment rate dropped 0.3 per cent as the number of people looking for work decreased sharply following little change over the previous three months.

“The unemployment rate in May was the lowest since comparable data became available in 1976,” said Statistics Canada in a report describing the figures.

Looking at CMAs elsewhere in the country, Quebec City recorded the lowest unemployment rate with 2.8 per cent, followed by Saguenay with a rate of 3.2 per cent, followed by Sherbrooke with 3.4 per cent.


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wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com