Greater Victoria is defying national and provincial employment trends as the unemployment rate in December dropped to 5.8 per cent. (Black Press Media File)

Greater Victoria is defying national and provincial employment trends as the unemployment rate in December dropped to 5.8 per cent. (Black Press Media File)

Dropping unemployment rate in Greater Victoria defies national and provincial picture

Broader trends such as high youth unemployment are solidifying

New figures show the unemployment rate in Greater Victoria dropped in December 2020, defying broader national trends.

Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) recorded an unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent in December, down 0.5 per cent from the preceding month. The national unemployment rate remained at 8.6 per while the provincial rate rose by 0.1 per cent to 7.2 per cent during the same period. Of the four CMAs in British Columbia, Victoria recorded the second-lowest rate, behind Kelowna with a rate of 4.5 per cent but ahead of Vancouver with a rate of 7.4 per cent.

The current picture unfolding against COVID-19 restrictions marks a reversal of recent trends. For the first time since April, employment fell by 63,000. Statistics Canada said in its analysis that job losses were most directly affected by new and continuing public health measures, including accommodation and food services; information, culture and recreation and ‘other services’ which include personal and laundry services

Measures of part-time, self-employment and hours worked also dropped in December.

RELATED: Canadian economy lost 63,000 jobs in Dec., first decline since April

If these figures offer a momentary snapshot of the economic picture, the new figures also show previous trends solidifying.

First, the number of active businesses in September 2020 was 7.2 per cent lower than in February 2020. Second, employment among youth aged 15 to 24 continues to fall behind pre-COVID 19 levels in notable contrast to employment levels for individuals aged 25 to 54, with no group of workers closer to pre-COVID employment levels than this ‘core-aged’ population. Immigrants (especially recent ones) and Indigenous Canadians are also struggling to catch up.

The new analysis also shows that working from home remains prominent in several industries, including professional, scientific and technical services; finance; insurance; real estate; rental and leasing; and public administration. “These industries have the lowest proportions of workers in occupations that typically require close physical proximity to others, and all have regained or surpassed February employment levels,” it reads.

By contrast, the accommodation and food services industry, where work generally requires close physical proximity to others, recorded the lowest share of employees working from home in both April and December.

Overall, the number of people working from home is rising again (albeit at a slow pace) after hitting a peak in April (41.6 per cent) and a low in September (25.6 per cent) since the start of the pandemic.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head inmates in Metchosin receive their first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

West Shore RCMP is looking for a suspect and their minivan, which crashed into a parked vehicle and home along the 200-block of Island Highway in View Royal on Jan. 18. (Black Press Media file photo)
Driver crashes into parked car and home in View Royal, speeds away: RCMP

Incident took place near 200-block of Island Highway Monday night

December and January, so far, have seen their share of rain. (Black Press Media file photo)
Potential for snow in Greater Victoria after unusually wet December, January

Winter is on the way, says Environment and Climate Change Canada

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

(Black Press Media file photo)
From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero awards are open

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

Most Read