Vancouver Sun: B.C. regains 43,000 jobs in May, although unemployment remains high

June 6, 2020
Colin Wong


B.C.’s unemployment rate rose to 13.4 per cent from an already dismal 11.5 per cent in April, which is the highest that it has been since 1984, said Ken Peacock, chief economist for the Business Council of B.C.

Peacock was “a bit surprised, but not terribly,” by the rehiring that showed up in May’s employment numbers, which were compiled by Statistics Canada a week before the official start to Phase 2 of B.C.’s economic re-start plan.

“But context is important here,” Peacock said. “Almost 400,000 jobs (were) lost the previous two months, so a 43,000 job gain, while very good news and welcome, it’s kind of a 10-per-cent return or regain of lost jobs.”

And the losses were disproportionately felt in the youth demographic, those between the ages of 15 and 24, where unemployment soared to 29 per cent from 24.2 per cent in April.

“That’s the highest it has ever been for that age cohort,” Peacock said. “It hit 24, almost 25 per cent back in the early 1980s.”

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