Kelowna and the central Okanagan continued to post a strong employment performance in June, with the unemployment rate dropping another half point to 4%, according to the latest Labor Force Survey from Statistics. Canada.
Business and government in the Kelowna census metropolitan area continued a remarkable run, adding 2,000 jobs last month to 3,000 in May, the survey found despite national job losses in June.
An unemployment rate of 4% puts Kelowna almost a percentage point below the Canadian average of 4.9% last month.
The number of unemployed is made even more remarkable by the fact that Kelowna had one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at 7.2% as recently as January.
The national rate is itself a decades-old historic low, with the total number of unemployed standing at around 1 million across the country after falling for four straight months.
However, Statistics Canada attributes the drop in the unemployment rate to fewer people looking for work, with the decline in national labor market participation only adding to the difficulties in hiring.
The Kelowna census metropolitan area had a population of 188,300 in June, up slightly from last month, while the labor force remained unchanged at 117,400.
Labor participation in the central Okanagan fell slightly last month, from 62,500 to 62,300.
For its part, the NDP government of British Columbia hailed “strong, clean and inclusive growth” in the province which added 6,100 new jobs in June.
Employment Minister Ravi Kahlon said in a press release that the province’s unemployment rate remained stable at 4.6%, down from 6.4% a year ago.
Statistics Canada also reports that long-term unemployment has returned to pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
Despite historic lows in unemployment, the Bank of Canada is expected to raise its key rate on Wednesday, reports the Canadian Press, with most economists forecasting a three-quarters percentage point hike.
However, a recent study by the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives warns that rapidly rising interest rates will likely push the Canadian economy into a recession and could cause significant “collateral damage”, including the loss of 850,000 jobs.