Strong job growth in most of Greater Victoria’s major workforces saw the region post the lowest unemployment rate among Canada’s largest cities in October, according to Statistics Canada.
The federal agency’s monthly labour force survey showed Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate at 3.8 per cent in October, down from the 4.5 per cent set last month. It was 5.0 per cent in October last year.
The largest year-over-year increase in employment occurred in the “other services” industry, which includes repair and maintenance; personal and laundry services; private household services; and religious, grant-making, civic, and professional organizations, said Statistics Canada analyst Gordon Song.
There were also year-over-year increases in industries such as healthcare and social assistance; wholesale and retail trade; and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.
The only significant decrease noted in any of the industries came in construction, which reported a loss of 1,400 positions compared with October last year.
There were slight declines in public administration and business, building and other support services. “Other services” reported a jump of 4,800 jobs compared with October 2016.
Health care rose by 2,300 positions and wholesale and retail trade added 2,300 positions.
The province also showed improvement last month as B.C.’s unemployment rate fell to 4.9 per cent in October from 5.1 per cent the previous month and 5.8 per cent at the end of October 2016.
That trend continued across the country as the Canadian economy churned out more jobs in October despite forecasts of slowing economic growth in the second half of the year.
Statistics Canada said that the economy added 35,300 jobs in October as the number of full-time positions swelled by 88,700, while part-time employment dropped by 53,400 jobs.
“After modest net job gains through the summer, October’s strong result suggest there is still some life left in the economic upswing,” Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter said.
The gain in jobs came as the national unemployment rate increased to 6.3 per cent, from 6.2 per cent in September, as more young people looked for work.