RAVI Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, reacting to the release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for August 2021 on Friday, said that it shows that B.C. is making great strides in our economic recovery with another 14,400 jobs gained throughout the province – 13,600 of these jobs are among women. All job gains are full-time.
He added: “B.C. has one of the lowest unemployment rates and a job recovery rate of 101.1%, leading Canada as the only province with employment above pre-pandemic levels for the third straight month.
“In areas throughout the province, our job recovery rate has been strong, led by Prince George at 108.1%. Other notable job recovery rates are in the Cariboo at 105.7%, Thompson-Okanagan at 105.6%, Vancouver Island-Coast at 104.1%, the Kootenays at 102.8%, the Lower Mainland at 102.2%, North Coast-Nechako at 101.4% and Vancouver at 101.0%.
“These numbers show we are doing well, but we know there is more work to do. We continue to support the strength of our economic recovery with the BC Vaccine Card coming into effect on September 13, 2021.
“Since announcing the BC Vaccine Card, more than one million people have registered for their card. The BC Vaccine Card will help increase vaccinations and keep people safe, while boosting the confidence of people to continue supporting their local businesses.
“With more than 78.8% of eligible British Columbians now fully vaccinated, our province is doing great work to keep the economy on an upward swing. But more work needs to be done.
“To help build a stronger B.C., we are investing $95 million in skills training, employment services and supports for more than 9,000 British Columbians to provide people with the opportunity to build long-lasting careers. This investment in training will translate into businesses having access to the skilled workers they need to thrive and grow.
“We are also making affordable and accessible child care a reality for families, supporting major health-care projects, making record investments in new schools and expanding affordable housing throughout B.C.
“These are real actions to support British Columbians and help them thrive. This work will further support our goal to build an innovative, sustainable and inclusive economy for everyone.
“We all understand that a healthy economy and a healthy B.C. go hand in hand, so do your part and get vaccinated. Taking this important step is the best and easiest way to put COVID-19 in the past and set our province on a path for a strong economic recovery.”
THE B.C. Liberals, on the other hand, said that despite another month of job numbers demonstrating the clear need for a plan to create private-sector jobs and grow B.C.’s economy, the NDP has once again failed to act.
“Month after month we have witnessed disproportionately slow recovery in full-time and private-sector jobs, as small businesses and self-employed individuals struggle to get by,” said Todd Stone, BC Liberal Critic for Jobs, Economic Recovery, and Innovation. “Now, after another month of underwhelming recovery, it’s clear this government cannot just continue to ignore the problem and hope it will go away. It’s the NDP’s responsibility to put together a comprehensive plan to help revitalize the private sector, create new full-time jobs and grow the economy, but they have yet to deliver.”
According to the B.C. Liberals, job numbers released on Friday by Statistics Canada show that full-time jobs continue to lag behind their pre-pandemic levels, with 12,600 fewer than those in February 2020, and 17,400 fewer private sector jobs. The hidden unemployment rate remains high at 9.6 percent as people give up looking to find work or face fewer hours and less shifts. Additionally, recovery remains slow in the tourism industry, with the sector still down 21,800 jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels.
“B.C. businesses — especially those in the hard-hit tourism industry — cannot afford for this government to continue to drag their feet on this issue, they need to see real action,” said Stone. “It’s not enough for the NDP to rely on the public sector and part-time positions to inflate job numbers while small businesses struggle to make ends meet or find staff amidst a growing labour shortage. The NDP needs to immediately implement a private-sector focused jobs plan to rebuild B.C.’s economy and restore confidence.”