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Greater Victoria's unemployment rate tightened in September

The capital region’s unemployment rate shrank last month to 4.7 per cent from August’s 4.9 per cent in a reflection of the tight labour market seen across the country
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Year-over-year job gains were seen in the construction sector, with 19,500 jobs last month, up from 14,100 in September 2021. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

The capital region’s unemployment rate shrank last month to 4.7 per cent from August’s 4.9 per cent in a reflection of the tight labour market seen across the country.

Quebec City posted the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at two per cent.

The capital region’s labour force — those working and those seeking employment — declined slightly to 224,100 in September from 224,700 in August, Statistics Canada said in its monthly unemployment report released Friday.

Year-over-year job gains were seen in the construction sector, with 19,500 jobs last month, up from 14,100 in September 2021.

Wholesale and retail trade jobs bumped up to 29,700 last month from 25,500 the year before.

Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing jobs climbed to 12,400 from 9,800 in the same period, while health-care and social-assistance employment also increased to 32,900 from 30,600 jobs.

Losses were seen in the business, building and other support services category to 4,200 last month from 10,300 in September 2021.

Manufacturing declined to 6,300 jobs from 7,300. Accommodation and food services dropped to 14,700 from 16,100 jobs.

Provincially, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 per cent in September from 4.8 per cent in August.

Nationally, the economy posted a modest gain in employment in September, reversing some of the losses seen in previous months and suggesting the labour market remains exceptionally tight.

The unemployment rate for the month fell to 5.2 per cent as fewer people looked for work, down from 5.4 per cent in August, Statistics Canada said. Meanwhile, the economy added 21,000 jobs.

The increase in employment was expected as job losses in the education sector during the summer were reversed with the reopening of schools.

The report said gains in education, health care and social assistance were offset by losses in several other sectors, including manufacturing and information, culture and recreation.

Canada’s labour force participation rate edged down slightly by 0.1 per cent in September.

The rise in employment comes after three consecutive months of job losses in the Canadian economy.

The latest job numbers reinforce the fact the labour market is still very tight, said TD director of economics James Orlando.

“We still have lots of job vacancies out there — we still have a supply-demand imbalance for labour in Canada,” Orlando said.

As the Bank of Canada raises interest rates aggressively to tame high inflation, the Canadian economy is expected to feel the effects both in its economic growth and employment numbers.

The central bank has suggested tight labour markets are partly to blame for high inflation.

“We’re a long way from that being fixed,” Orlando said.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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