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BC leads in job losses, posts highest unemployment rate outside Atlantic Canada

By BC Federation of Labour

Job numbers released Friday by Statistics Canada show British Columbia continues to lose jobs.

BC lost 9,100 jobs in January and was the only province to see significant job losses. Most other provinces showed job gains, including Ontario which created 36,300 jobs in January, and Alberta which saw job numbers increase by 21,600.

The January numbers follow significant job losses in December when BC lost nearly 20,000 full time jobs and 2,600 part time jobs.

In January BC's unemployment rate jumped from 7.6 per cent to 8.2 per cent, the biggest increase in the country. BC now has the highest unemployment rate outside the Atlantic provinces.

"It's becoming increasingly clear that BC is falling further behind as other provinces create new jobs and pull themselves out of the recession," said Jim Sinclair, president of the BC Federation of Labour.

"The provincial government needs to quickly address its own prediction that BC will face a shortage of 160,000 skilled workers in five years.”

Sinclair said this is also not the time to cut public services and eliminate public sector jobs. Public assets and public sector workers make an important contribution to the collective health and prosperity of BC, said Sincalir.

A jobs agenda for the province must also include the creation of good, green jobs as BC makes its economy more environmentally sustainable.