Greater Victoria remains one of the best places in Canada to find a job, at least according to the unemployment rate.
Statistics Canada reports the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) recorded an unemployment rate of 4.2 per cent last month during the week of Sept. 12 to 18, unchanged from the rate measured in August. Only Quebec City recorded a lower rate with 4.1 per cent.
Victoria CMA outpaced the other three CMAs in British Columbia. Kelowna recorded the province’s second-lowest unemployment rate with 5.4 per cent, followed by Vancouver (6.7 per cent) and Abbotsford-Mission (6.9 per cent). Provincially, the unemployment rate stood at 5.9 per cent, down 0.3 per cent from previous month, while the national unemployment rate stood at 6.9 per cent, a drop of 0.2 per cent.
Victoria’s unemployment rate is still above the 3.4 per cent recorded in February 2020 before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Greater Victoria recorded historic levels of unemployment not seen since the end of the Second World War during the height of pandemic as businesses shuttered their doors, Victoria remained above provincial and national averages and recovered quicker than most parts of the country once the economy started to rebound. True, this recovery was not smooth, but the overall trendlines point to a resilient local economy already facing labour shortages before the pandemic in key sectors, including but not exclusively hospitality and accommodation.
Local real estate and its related industries barely caught a breath during the pandemic thanks to historic low interest rates and the region’s continuous attractiveness in fueling a demand for labour of every sort. On the flip-side, the region’s growth has exacerbated the already high cost of housing for everyone, but especially for those in lower wage positions. This has the potential to discourage job-seekers from elsewhere, but gives leverage to workers already in the region, leverage likely to improve as the regional population ages.
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