Nationwide employment fell by 62,300 jobs last month — the first drop for Canada since the spring — as the unemployment rate rose 0.1 month to month to reach 8.6%.
Ken Peacock, chief economist at the Business Council of B.C., noted the December gains mean the province is now down 33,600 jobs compared with February’s pre-pandemic numbers.
He said gains over the past few months have outperformed his own expectations as he believed it was possible at the outset of the pandemic that the province could be down as many as 150,000 jobs by the end of 2020.
“We've already been through a period of pretty strong job growth so there's quite a bit of variation by industry. So, I think that kind of points to some underlying resiliency [in B.C.’s economy],” Peacock told Business in Vancouver, noting that the province’s restrictions haven’t been as stringent as in other provinces.