Victoria’s low unemployment rate raises concerns

The Capital Region had the lowest jobless rate in the country for November

Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.3 per cent in November, the lowest in Canada. (News files)

Victoria’s unemployment rate for the month of November was the lowest in the country at 3.3 per cent, but the news may not be as good as it seems.

A low jobless rate is generally a good indicator of a healthy economy, said Dallas Gislason, economic development officer with the South Island Prosperity Project. However, when unemployment drops below four per cent, it could be the result of workers leaving the city, which leaves employers having a hard time attracting talent, he said.

“From a pure economic perspective, it is healthy,” he said. “At the same time, we need to look at it holistically … and one of the areas we need to really, really watch closely is the [housing] affordability pressures.”

Gislason pointed to San Francisco as an example. That city has among the highest incomes in North America, but the high cost of housing is forcing some people to move away.

Despite the low jobless numbers, the region lost around 2,000 people from the labour force in November. Employers in some sectors may find they have to raise wages to attract workers, given the cost of renting or buying a home in the region, Gislason added.

RELATED: Labour market ‘unstoppable’ as jobless rate drops to 5.9%

Canada’s overall unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 per cent in November, the lowest in nearly a decade, according to data released today by Statistics Canada.

The unemployment rate for Vancouver Island and the Coast dropped to 4.4 per cent from 4.9 per cent last month. Across the province, 18,000 more people were employed in November, up 3.8 per cent in year-over-year gains, mostly in full-time work.

Canada gained 29,600 full-time and 49,900 part-time jobs in November across the country. Job growth was primarily in the private sector with an additional 72,400 jobs created, while the public sector had 10,600 new jobs.

– With files from the Canadian Press

Statistics Canadaunemployment

Just Posted

Painters Jim Tulip, Doug Mackenzie and Gary Henslowe were painting the exterior of the Duncan Butcher Shop and Apple Press printing shop, located between the Trans Canada Highway and Whistler Street, on Oct. 8 as part of neighbourhood painting project. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan’s Whistler Street sees a fresh lick of paint in opioid battle

Group wants to help clean up community, one street at a time

Maureen Cue, owner of Disguise the Limit costume shop, models – maybe the most obvious – pandemic costume. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Vancouver Island costume expert showcases pandemic-safe Halloween looks

Maureen Cue models the best masked Halloween costumes

Thaddeus Lenover kisses his mushroom picking partner Teagan Evans on the cheek after a rainy day out in the woods harvesting wild mushrooms. (Nora O'Malley photo)
West Coast mushroom pickers say it’s less busy this year

COVID-19 reduces interest in what has otherwise been a good season

(pixabay photo)
Bakker: Feeling alone after a miscarriage

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month

Dylan Hillis preparing collagen samples from ancient dog bones at the UBC musuem of Anthropology. Photo: Eric Guiry
Ancient ‘woolly dog’ ate mostly fish, new University of Victoria study finds

Study gives researchers better understanding of human-dog relationships on Tsehaht First Nation

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Visitors stroll through Goldstream Provincial Park on a calm, crisp Sunday. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Visitors flock to Goldstream Provincial Park for 2020 salmon run

‘I wanted to come here before I move back to Australia,’ says visitor

File Photo
Planned power outage in Port Alice Oct. 27

BC Hydro crews to work from midnight to 4 a.m. replacing substation equipment

Greg Duerksen and his family. (gofundme photo)
Firefighter prepares for stem cell transplant

Friends rally to help raise funds for Duerksen family

Legendary Vancouver-based blues and jazz guitarist and vocalist Jim Byrnes will perform live at the Tidemark Theatre in a concert that will also be streamed. Contributed photo
Legendary blues musician and actor Jim Byrnes hits the Island

Playing Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre for a hybrid live/online show

Conservation officers hope the public can provide information about who shot and left a bull and cow Roosevelt elk near Spruston Road, south of Nanaimo. (Facebook photo)
Pair of Roosevelt elk shot and left in woods south of Nanaimo

Conservation officers hope public can help find who killed the animals near Spruston Road

Most Read