Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, has issued the following statement on the release of Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey for December 2021:
“The strength, determination and kindness of British Columbians is well reflected as we review the Labour Force Surveys of 2021.
“With the release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for December, we can confirm that despite a very challenging year for people and businesses, B.C. added more than 100,000 jobs throughout the province in 2021.
“The 101,000 jobs added in B.C. for the year marks a 3.9% increase compared to 2020 job numbers, with 84,000 of these jobs being full-time jobs. In December 2021 alone, B.C. added 25,000 full-time jobs.
“With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 5.3%, B.C.’s strong job numbers over the past year solidify our province as a leader in the ongoing pandemic recovery – even as people and businesses have felt the impacts of extreme weather events and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Employment is now 102.1% above pre-pandemic levels and is among the highest in Canada. This means 56,000 more people are employed in B.C. today compared to before the pandemic.
“Not only are more people employed, but more people have decided to make B.C. their home. Last year, in the first three quarters of 2021, more than 85,000 people arrived in B.C. from across Canada and around the world because people know B.C. is a safe and secure place to build their future. These numbers will also expand our labour market and bolster our province’s available workforce in 2022.
“Even in the midst of the pandemic, in 2021 we saw major investments that are growing our economy with new good-paying jobs in every corner of the province. Last year, B.C. saw a gain of 114,100 private-sector jobs added in 2021.
“While our efforts recover from this pandemic continue, we know that it’s had a disproportionate impact on young, Indigenous, Black and people of colour. Our government is committed to ensuring our recovery is inclusive. This has supported gains in youth employment increasing by 38,700 jobs and employment for Indigenous Peoples growing by 25,600 jobs.
“It is fair to say that we’re all exhausted by the pandemic, but unfortunately the pandemic is not done with us. The Omicron variant is challenging people and businesses throughout B.C., across Canada and around the world.
“To help businesses closed from public-health orders, we immediately announced the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant – a fast-tracked program designed, in part, to help keep people employed and help businesses pay the bills during this challenging time.
“Applications for the grant program will be online next week, and I encourage eligible businesses to apply for the grant, which ranges from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the number of employees.
“Our government remains committed to supporting businesses as we navigate these difficult times. Since early 2020, our government has invested more than half-a-billion dollars to support businesses and their staff through this pandemic. That’s the largest investment of any province per-capita in Canada and, along with the hard work of people in B.C., has helped put us in this strong position even with the challenges ahead.
“Since the pandemic began, businesses throughout the province have been working hard to adapt their operations to keep people safe. Our government is committed to helping people and businesses through this difficult time as we continue our work to build a stronger B.C. for everyone.
“I encourage everyone who has the means to do their part to support local businesses by buying gift cards or memberships for future use. They need us and we need them. Together, we will get through this.”
Stronger BC For Everyone: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/