Kelowna unemployment rate rises for third consecutive month

Jobless rate increases again

Central Okanagan’s unemployment rate jumped in November, marking the third consecutive month it has increased.

Statistics Canada on Friday reported Kelowna’s metropolitan area had a jobless rate of 4.9% last month, which was up from 4.3% in October and 4.1% in September. The region’s unemployment rate hit a nearly three-year low of 3.9% in August but is now on the way back up.

Kelowna’s labour force, which is all members of the population who are able to work, dropped by 1,200 people in November, but the number of those actually working fell by 1,900.

It was a different story in the Thompson Okanagan region as a whole, however, as the unemployment rate dipped to 4.5% from 4.9% last month.

The national jobless mark fell to 5.1% in November from 5.2% in October, and the country gained 10,000 jobs over the month’s 30 days. Canada added 108,000 jobs in October.

“The main overriding feature of today’s report was that you were continuing to gain jobs in Canada,” TD director of economics James Orlando said Friday. “If you add up just the number of jobs gained (in) November and October, it’s pretty substantial.”

Employment rose in several industries in November, including finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, manufacturing and in information, culture and recreation, while it fell in construction as well as wholesale and retail trade.

Statistics Canada also noted in its report that the employment rate among core-aged women aged 25 to 54 hit 81.6% in November, a record high in comparable data going back to 1976.

Canada’s labour market has remained remarkably strong despite signs of an economic slowdown. The unemployment rate fell to a record-low of 4.9% in the summer and has edged up only slightly since then.

“The economy is clearly still doing very well,” Orlando said. “When you look at the labour market, you have not seen a slowdown.”

— with files from The Canadian Press

More Kelowna News