BRENDA Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, in a statement on Friday on Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for February, said: “At a time of economic uncertainty, B.C. continues to demonstrate resiliency. B.C. added 6,700 new jobs in February, and the unemployment rate is at 5.1%, remaining one of the lowest in the country. B.C. built on the 66,200 new jobs added in 2022 – two months into 2023 and B.C. has already added 14,400 new jobs.”
She added: “We know the global economic headwinds ahead of us – ongoing effects of the pandemic, rising inflation, as well as economic slowdowns – have placed pressure on B.C.’s economy and are presenting real challenges for families and businesses. That’s why Budget 2023 invests in things that matter most to people, like strengthening public health care, tackling the housing crisis, helping people with rising costs, making our communities safer, and growing a clean and inclusive economy that works for everyone.
“Our government is committed to a province where everyone can build and afford a good life, including eliminating wage discrimination and empowering all workers. In February, all of the job growth seen was from women’s employment (14,300+), which speaks to our commitments to a robust, affordable and accessible child care program, which has led the country and driven our employment growth.
“We know there is more work ahead to create an economy that works for everyone, and that’s why we just introduced pay transparency legislation, an important next step to close the gender pay gap that disproportionately impacts Indigenous women, women of colour, and immigrant women, as well as women with disabilities and non-binary people.
“To help strengthen B.C.’s position as a global innovation powerhouse, I am leading a five-day trade mission to the United States, showcasing opportunities that our province has to offer the world in technology and innovation through the StrongerBC Economic Plan. Now is the time to build on our momentum and forge new relationships that will lead to investment and economic development.
“Through the StrongerBC Economic Plan, we are actively working to build a platform for economic success that benefits B.C. businesses, and creates well-paid jobs for British Columbians, while ensuring the highest standards of environmental protection and sustainability. One way we’re doing this is through an approved Mines Act permit for the Blackwater Gold project that will provide over 800 jobs during the construction phase and 450 full-time jobs per year during its 22-year operating life. The project will generate economic benefits for communities and First Nations throughout British Columbia’s central Interior and is expected to contribute $13.2 billion to the provincial economy during its lifetime.
“While British Columbia is experiencing one of the fastest and strongest recoveries in the country, we know that people are facing tough times. While we can’t control global forces, we can continue to make investments to help protect British Columbians and build the stronger, more secure future we all want.”