Employment growth in British Columbia in 2015 outpaced the rest of Canada in 2015, increasing 2.3%.
Statistics Canada reports some 52,000 more people gained employment in B.C. last year, compared to only a 0.9% increase in Canada as a whole. The growth has been ongoing since April but surprisingly did not lower the unemployment rate, which rose 1.2 points to a total of 6.7%.
B.C.’s growth was much stronger than other provinces like Ontario and Quebec, which only grew 1.2%, and Alberta, which stayed largely the same as 2014. Alberta’s unemployment rate, however, rose steeply from 4.7% to 7.0% over the last 12 months. The last time the province had an unemployment rate this high was in April 2010.
But no province did as poorly as Newfoundland and Labrador, where the employment rate dropped 1.8% as losses in full-time work were only partly offset by gains in part time.
The biggest sectors where employment grew were professional, scientific, and technical sectors, seeing an increase of 5.2%. The natural resource sector saw a dramatic tumble in employment, down 6.8%, indicating the economic struggles currently plaguing Alberta.
More people are also choosing self-employment, with rates in that sector increasing 3.4% with 92,000 more people choosing to be their own boss.
The numbers further highlight the demographics of who’s finding work in Canada and who’s not. The population aged 55 and over were the only group to record employment growth in 2015, up 6.3%, whereas the unemployment rate increased for people aged 24 to 54 and their employment rate was little changed.