BC Loses Nearly 16,000 Jobs In January
VICTORIA – Premier Christy Clark has real trouble on her hands as BC loses nearly 16,000 jobs while she has wasted $15 million on expensive pre-election “Jobs Plan” ads, which have been criticized by the NDP as wastage of taxpayer dollars.
Employment in British Columbia fell by 15,900 jobs in January, about 10,000 of that coming from a loss of part-time work. Employment in BC is now close to where it was one year earlier.
The unemployment rate is 6.3 per cent, down one-tenth of a point as BC’s labour force fell by 19,700. “Those appear to be mainly in areas like construction [down 6,900]; that’s pretty typical for this time of year. We’ve been losing numbers in the labour force for some time now. We think it’s a combination of people moving into retirement, as well as the construction sector which is typically pretty mobile,” says Jobs Minister Pat Bell.
NDP Jobs Critic Jenny Kwan says the province’s jobs plan has been a disaster since it was introoduced last September and the government is just wasting money.
“Millions of dollars of taxpayers money to advertise about what a great job they’re doing and they’ve really got nothing to show for it. [The jobs plan] in fact showed a reverse trend in the private sector, we actually saw a 37,000 drop in terms of jobs since the jobs plan,” she said
“Taxpayers are paying $15 million for Liberal government ads that tell you the jobs plan is working great,” said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston. “The ads you’re paying for say because of the Liberal jobs plan, we’re leading the country in job creation. That is, and always has been, factually incorrect.”
“No matter how you look at it, overall jobs numbers have been underwhelming since the plan was announced,” said Ralston. “And private sector jobs in BC have seen a massive drop.
Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey released Friday show job numbers in B.C. have been stagnant since the plan was announced on Sept. 19 and the province lost nearly 16,000 jobs over the previous month. The statistics also show that 37,000 jobs have been lost in the private sector since the jobs plan began.
B.C. is now second worst of all the provinces for job growth.
“This is a tired government that has run out of steam. They have no new ideas, and aren’t up to the challenge of following through on the policies they’ve already put on the table,” said Ralston. “It isn’t surprising that British Columbians want change.”
BC’s job loss numbers contributed to Canada’s rocky start this year by shedding a surprisingly high 21,900 jobs in total in January — almost all full-time with Ontario and British Columbia being the two biggest contributors.
Statistics Canada reported that exports fell 2.1 per cent in real terms in December, continuing a weakening trend in a key sector that represents about one third of the total economic output.
And January housing starts collapsed to 160,600 annualized, the lowest since 2009.
Economists said no one was fooled by the drop in the unemployment rate; it was due not to strength in the labour market, but to a technicality.
Almost 58,000 Canadians left the work force in January or ceased looking for employment, the largest exodus from the labour market since 1995.