VICTORIA - Along with the majority of Canada, B.C. experienced a decline in full-time employment in March. Jobs declined by 14,800, with full-time employment dropping by 22,400, partially offset by the gain in part-time employment of 7,500.
The unemployment rate in March was at seven per cent throughout the province, putting B.C. fourth-lowest in Canada. Prince George, Kamloops, Vernon and Chilliwack all experienced a decrease in their unemployment rate from this time last year.
B.C.'s average hourly wage rate in March was up by 1.2 per cent compared with March 2012. For B.C. youth under 25, the average hourly wage in March was up by 6.1 per cent compared with March 2012.
Manufacturing and forestry, fishing, mining and gas both saw increases in employment (3,500 and 2,000 respectively). Employment in wholesale and retail trade increased by 8,800 in March and professional, scientific and technical services added 5,800 jobs. The biggest losses were felt in accommodation, food and beverage services (down 8,300 jobs) and finance, insurance and real estate (down 4,100 jobs).
Employment among youth (aged 15-24) remained stable in March, however, more youth now are looking for work so the unemployment rate rose from 13 to 14.5 per cent.
B.C. has added 32,300 jobs since August 2011, and ranks fourth in job gains compared to other provinces, behind Ontario (gained 90,400 jobs), Alberta (gained 57,000 jobs) and Quebec (gained 53,200 jobs).
Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour -
"We are committed to helping British Columbians be trained for and find jobs right here at home and ensure there are ongoing prospects in the future. That's why we developed the BC Jobs Plan and have been focused on working with communities throughout British Columbia to identify needs and opportunities and advance economic development and investment in our province."
Visit B.C.'s one-stop working resource: www.workbc.ca
Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training