Low unemployment, higher wages and positive job growth: Ralston

BRUCE Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, reacting to the release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for October, pointed out: “Our economy remains resilient, with low unemployment, higher wages and positive job growth despite challenges both globally and here in Canada. For more than two years, our government has harnessed a strong and stable economy by investing in British Columbians and practising smart fiscal management.”

He added: “In the big three categories of job growth, wages and unemployment, B.C. performed exceptionally well in the month of October. The province created 15,300 jobs, more than any other province – the vast majority being full-time jobs. The unemployment rate in B.C. is again the lowest in the country at 4.7%.

“Hourly wages increased last month by $0.25 to $28.35, among the highest wage growth across Canada. Over the past year, B.C.’s average hourly wages have increased by $1.55, or 5.8%.

“Year-over-year, B.C. added 50,000 more jobs, of which more than 40,000 were full time, and last week, Vancouver was named the top city in North America for tech-sector job growth.

“We also recently announced the addition of an Export Navigator adviser dedicated to helping Indigenous small businesses around the province grow by reaching new markets. Indigenous businesses are a critical part of our province’s success, and exporting is a key way to create more jobs and opportunities in communities around the province.”

However, Ralston noted that “some sectors in B.C. are not feeling the benefits of the robust labour market and strong economy.” He added: “We remain dedicated to supporting workers in these industries, especially those in forestry jobs. We are committed to standing up for vulnerable workers in our pursuit to make life better for all British Columbians.”

Jordan Sturdy

BC Liberals, on the other hand, said in a statement that British Columbia has lost almost 10,000 jobs over the past five months and accused Premier John Horgan and his NDP government of having no jobs plan in sight.

“John Horgan needs to start focusing on building a stronger economy for all of B.C.,” said Jordan Sturdy, BC Liberal Critic for Jobs. “The NDP’s typical over-tax approach to governance is hurting B.C. families, especially those in rural B.C. who have been left to fend for themselves as the forestry crisis continues with no help in sight from this NDP government.”

BC Liberals said they feel concerned after the Business Council of British Columbia recently downgraded its economic outlook for the province from a GDP growth of 2 per cent, down to 1.8 per cent in 2019. To make matters worse, the recent court ruling on limiting experts in ICBC injury cases will potentially reduce the NDP’s provincial budget surplus by 400 million in 2020 — further pushing B.C. towards deficit and putting the province’s credit rating at risk.