November 28, 2021
As of September 2021, employment in BC increased in nine of the past 12 months for a net gain of more than 153,000 jobs. As a result, BC’s workforce slightly exceeded prepandemic levels, up 28,200 jobs compared to September 2019. However, the net gain in jobs lags considerably behind population growth as the province added 107,000 working aged residents since September 2019.
While part-time positions had the steepest job declines with nearly a third eliminated by June 2020, they have since led the recovery. In fact, part-time jobs were up by 9.1% compared to September 2019. Full-time positions have also seen consistent growth over the past year but remain 1.1% below the September 2019 level.
BC’s unemployment rate was 5.9% in September 2021, down from 8.6% in September 2020, but above the 4.9% in September 2019. While the female unemployment rate of 6.0% is only slightly higher than the male rate of 5.9%, that gap does not capture the fact that some women have left the labour force.
The female labour participation rate was 61.3% in September 2021, down 0.4 percentage points from September 2019. This compares to 69.4% for men in BC, the same rate as in September 2019. Further, full-time positions worked by females declined by 2.9% in September 2021 compared to September 2019. In contrast, the number of full-time positions worked by men was up by 0.4% over the same period. The decrease in participation rate and hours worked by females in the province is one reason why businesses have faced a growing challenge to find employees in 2021Source: CPA BC