The national unemployment rate rose 0.6 per cent to 9.4 per cent, the highest rate since August 2020, while the provincial rate stood at 8 per cent, up 0.8 per cent.
The figures suggest Greater Victoria is an isolated bubble in Canada. While B.C. netted 2,800 jobs in January, experts have deemed it a statistical blip.
“I think it’s pretty clear that the recovery process has stalled out here (in British Columbia),” said Ken Peacock, chief economist of Business Council of B.C.
The picture is even worse in other parts of the country as Ontario and Quebec have recorded large job losses as their COVID-19 measures prompted a shutdown of non-essential retail and other businesses. B.C. is hanging on, keeping restaurants and pubs as well as hair salons and other services open with public health restrictions.