BC Liberals: Women, youth continue to disproportionately feel impact of job losses

THE BC Liberals noted on Saturday that numbers released by Statistics Canada this week not only show B.C.’s employment growth has stalled in 2021, but that women and youth continue to be disproportionately impacted by pandemic job losses.

“Despite numbers indicating this steady trend, the NDP continues to drag their feet on a jobs plan to help get women back into the job market,” said Stephanie Cadieux, BC Liberal Critic for Gender Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion. “Over the last three months alone, women have lost 7,500 jobs – yet the NDP seems content to sit on the sidelines and fail to offer them any meaningful assistance.”

The BC Liberals said that looking at COVID-19 related job losses since the pandemic began, there are 26,900 fewer jobs for women in British Columbia today compared to February 2020, and youth unemployment is at 16.8 per cent. The labour underutilization rate, a broader measure that includes those involuntarily working fewer hours, is even higher at 13 per cent for women and 21.6 per cent for youth, up from December’s rates of 9.9 per cent and 15.6 per cent respectively.

“It’s unacceptable that a year into the pandemic, the NDP has failed to come up with a concrete jobs plan to get people back to work,” said Todd Stone, BC Liberal Critic for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “The government needs to step up and foster an inclusive recovery to facilitate the re-entry of these vulnerable groups into the labour market. They simply can’t afford to wait any longer.”