B.C.’s unemployment rate now stands at 10.7 per cent, which is down 0.4 percentage points from July but still more than double the five per cent rate in February.
Ken Peacock of the Business Council of B.C. had thought employment growth was going to level off from the highs of June when the economy first re-opened, and there was what he called a one-time surge of 118,000 jobs.
But he said he was surprised to see the weakness of the August gains, and that the rebound has petered out so quickly.
“I was kind of hoping we would get 30,000 or 40,000 jobs this month,” said Peacock. “Right now, (that’s) actually a pretty dismal result because of the rebound factor. It’s gone out a little bit quicker than I would have anticipated.”
To compare the magnitude of the current net loss of 150,000 jobs since the beginning of the pandemic, Peacock said that during the financial crisis in 2008, job losses over the entire period were only 70,000.
He said aside from the bleak backdrop of world production and trade being stalled, two other factors make him pessimistic about job growth strengthening after these slim August gains.