The number of Greater Victoria residents receiving regular employment insurance (EI) benefits rose by 12 per cent in October compared to the same period last year.
Statistics Canada recorded 2,150 regular EI recipients in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in October, up from 1,920 in October 2018. Month-to-Month, the number of recipients rose by 20 from 2,130 in September.
The regional increase reflected a provincial increase as 41,100 British Columbians received EI in October. Year-to-year, the number of EI recipients in British Columbia rose 6.3 per cent.
While the available provincial figures do not break down by occupations, the national numbers show that the number of EI recipients who previously worked in natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations rose by 3.3 per cent. This increase appears in line with larger developments in the provincial resource sector, which has been shedding thousands of jobs in recent months, mainly in the interior regions of British Columbia, such as the Cariboo.
In support of this point, consider the geographic break-down of new EI claims in October. While they rose 1.3 per cent for the province, they rose 3.2 per cent in areas outside the four CMAs and the smaller census agglomerations, which capture secondary cities in British Columbia.
Also up are EI claims from occupations in manufacturing and utilities — up 18.4 per cent — with a geographic focus on Ontario and occupations in education, law and social, community and government services, up 5.9 per cent.
Overall, four of the 10 broad occupational groups recorded increases in claims in October when compared to October 2018.
The provincial unemployment rate for November was five per cent, the regional rate was 3.5 per cent.
Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner