Times Colonist: Good labour force news a temporary breather, business council says

September 5, 2020
Jayne Murdock


The slightly better news out of Statistics Canada’s monthly labour force survey Friday may only be a temporary respite for the B.C. economy, according to the Business Council of B.C.

Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the BCBC, said the good news is that the province added 15,000 jobs in August, but it’s tempered by the fact that the momentum of job recovery is “clearly flagging.”

“The low-hanging fruit of reviving employment as people get called back to work has largely played out with the government’s reopening plan now three to four months in,” Finlayson said.

“It will be much tougher now to grind out additional job gains over the rest of the year.”

That leaves B.C. with a serious hole to climb out of.

The province lost an estimated 400,000 jobs as a result of the pandemic and the economic lockdown, and through to the end of August it has only managed to bring back 250,000 of those positions.

“We’re still down 150,000 jobs — that’s the equivalent of three years’ employment growth in a normal economy,” Finlayson said.

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