BC’s labour market forecast for July, 2012

July 12, 2012

VANCOUVER, BC, Jul 12, 2012/ Troy Media/ – B.C. employment levels inched higher in June to extend the uptrend observed since 2011. Estimated employment in the province edged above 2.32 million persons in June (seasonally-adjusted), marking a gain of 0.2 per cent or 3,600 persons from May.

Growth was recorded in both the full-time and part-time sectors during the month and pushed total employment above same-period 2011 by 2.3 per cent. Stable employment counts over the past two months have provided evidence that April’s surge was not an aberration in the data and that provincial employers have continued to generate job growth.

However, tempered business confidence amidst uncertainty in the global economy could put a damper on the pace of hiring in coming months. While employment held steady, the unemployment rate fell 0.8 percentage points to 6.6 per cent. B.C.’s jobless rate has been highly volatile in recent months.

June’s drop was driven in large part by a decline in the youth participation rate and contraction of the labour force, rather than job growth. Youth employment rose 0.4 per cent from May, but the associated labour force fell by an estimated 2.2 per cent.

After driving provincial employment growth since early 2012, the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) lagged the rest of the province in June. Vancouver CMA employment fell for the first time in four months in June, contracting 0.3 per cent from May. However, the region still recorded more than 2 per cent growth since January and was up by a robust 3 per cent from June 2011.

June’s gain was led by a sharp gain in manufacturing employment, which climbed by an estimated 10,600 persons from May or 5.8 per cent. Employment in this sector has surged 22 per cent over the past 12-month period and has been a key driver of overall provincial gains along with education and health services. Other industries with notable monthly June gains included business-, educational-, and health-services.

Offsetting these gains were contractions in retail/ wholesale trade, and information/culture services.

Regions

Lower Mainland-Southwest: The latest seasonally-adjusted, short-term trends in labour market indicators were positive. Employment rose by 20,600 persons (1.4 per cent) over the latest three month period. The regional unemployment rate edged fell 0.2 percentage points to 6.4 per cent.

Vancouver Island-Coast: The latest seasonally-adjusted, short-term trends in labour market indicators were negative. Employment rose contracted by 5,830 persons (1.5 per cent) over the latest three month period. While the regional participation rate remained below 60 per cent, the unemployment rate rose 0.4 percentage points to 6.1 per cent.

Thompson-Okanagan: The latest seasonally-adjusted, short-term trends in labour market indicators were positive. A sharp June gain pushed estimated employment up by 7,230 persons (2.8 per cent) over the latest three month period. This led to a 1.4 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate to 7.1 per cent.

Kootenay: The latest seasonally-adjusted, short-term trends in labour market indicators were negative. Employment fell by 2,090 persons (2.8 per cent) over the latest three month period. The region’s unemployment rate rose 1.1 percentage points to 7.3 per cent.

Cariboo: The latest seasonally-adjusted, short-term trends in labour market indicators were positive. Employment grew by 1,380 persons (1.6 per cent) over the last three month period. While the unemployment rate rose 0.5 percentage points to 7.9 per cent, this is a positive sign for the economy and reflects a rising participation rate as discourage workers re-enter the labour market in response to positive job prospects.

North Coast-Nechako: The latest seasonally-adjusted, short-term trends in labour market indicators were negative. Employment fell by 3,200 persons (7.6 per cent) over the latest three month period. Despite a retrenchment in the labour force participation rate (and resulting drop in the size of the labour force), the unemployment rate rose 1.2 percentage points to 12 per cent.

Northeast: The latest seasonally-adjusted, short-term trends in labour market indicators were neutral. Regional employment fell by 330 persons (0.8 per cent) over the latest three month period. The estimated unemployment rate remained low at a provincial low of 4.8 per cent.

| Central 1 Credit Union

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