B.C. jobs down in July, jobs minister says she’s not worried

British Columbia has seen another decline in jobs in July, as Canada’s national job number statistics were released Friday.

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey shows that employment in the country was little changed in July, falling by 6,400 jobs.

In B.C., jobs fell by 1,600 in July compared with June.

Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation Brenda Bailey says she’s not worried but is monitoring the situation.

“We are seeing a slight decline, 1,600 hundred compared to last month, and we’re hearing that across Canada as well. But I will point out that so far this year, B.C. has added 13,600 jobs. Our employment rate is 5.4 — that’s just below the national average of 5.5,” she said.

She says looking at a singular month doesn’t show the full situation, and she is keeping an eye on the overall picture.

“Right now it’s just really a snapshot, but we do watch for trends. Overall, we’re still trending positive in regards to job growth in British Columbia, I do expect that to continue, we’re seeing a small dip this month, not something that I’m alarmed about yet,” she said.

“If we see something happening over three months, or longer, then I know it’s got some validity,” she said.

Overall, she says B.C.’s economy is “holding steady.”

“B.C. continues to add full-time jobs to its economy, with all of B.C.’s job growth so far this year in full-time jobs for a total 32,500 in 2023,” she said.

The province holds the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the country and Bailey says that is a sign of strength.

Meanwhile, this comes as Telus,the Vancouver-based telecommunications company,announced Friday it was cutting 6,000 jobs in B.C. and Alberta.

More jobs will also be cut elsewhere in B.C. as a sawmill in Vanderhoof will soon permanently decrease production quantity — cutting the current workforce in half.

Rising unemployment comes as high interest rates weigh on the economy.

The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate sits at 5.0 per cent, the highest it’s been since 2001.

High interest rates are making borrowing more expensive for both businesses and consumers, which in turn is expected to lead to job losses.

With files from The Canadian Press

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