According to Statistics Canada, Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate dropped to five per cent in January 2021 (Black Press Media File)

According to Statistics Canada, Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate dropped to five per cent in January 2021 (Black Press Media File)

Unemployment in Greater Victoria continues to drop

Regional unemployment dropped to five per cent in January 2021 as provincial and national rates rose

The official unemployment rate in Greater Victoria continues to drop.

New figures from Statistics Canada show that the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) recorded an unofficial unemployment rate of five per cent in January, the fourth lowest in the country and a drop of 0.8 per cent compared to December 2020. Compared to the same period last year, unemployment was 1.4 per cent higher.

RELATED: Dropping unemployment rate in Greater Victoria defies national and provincial picture

RELATED: Greater Victoria records highest unemployment in post-war history with 11 per cent

By way of comparison, Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate stood in excess of 11 per cent in July 2020.

The national unemployment rate rose 0.6 per cent to 9.4 per cent, the highest rate since August 2020, while the provincial rate stood at 8 per cent, up 0.8 per cent.

RELATED: B.C. unemployment rate climbs as COVID-19 drags on

The figures suggest Greater Victoria is an isolated bubble in Canada. While B.C. netted 2,800 jobs in January, experts have deemed it a statistical blip.

“I think it’s pretty clear that the recovery process has stalled out here (in British Columbia),” said Ken Peacock, chief economist of Business Council of B.C.

The picture is even worse in other parts of the country as Ontario and Quebec have recorded large job losses as their COVID-19 measures prompted a shutdown of non-essential retail and other businesses. B.C. is hanging on, keeping restaurants and pubs as well as hair salons and other services open with public health restrictions.

– with files from Tom Fletcher, Black Press.


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