Candidate Ravi Kahlon listens as party leader John Horgan speaks to NDP supporters during a campaign stop in Surrey, B.C., on Monday May 8, 2017. Kahlon, who is now British Columbia’s jobs minister, says the latest employment numbers from Statistics Canada show the provincial economy remains resilient. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Candidate Ravi Kahlon listens as party leader John Horgan speaks to NDP supporters during a campaign stop in Surrey, B.C., on Monday May 8, 2017. Kahlon, who is now British Columbia’s jobs minister, says the latest employment numbers from Statistics Canada show the provincial economy remains resilient. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Employment data shows B.C. resilient, says minister, but Liberals unimpressed

Ravi Kahlon, minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation, says B.C. created 2,800 jobs in January

British Columbia’s jobs minister says the latest employment numbers from Statistics Canada show the provincial economy remains resilient.

The unemployment rate in B.C. last month was eight per cent, up from 7.2 per cent in December.

The national jobless rate was 9.4 per cent in January, up from 8.8 per cent in December, and economists say that’s mainly due to the loss of hundreds of thousands of service sector jobs, most in Ontario and Quebec.

Ravi Kahlon, the minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation, says B.C. created 2,800 jobs in January and analysts peg the higher unemployment rate to more people looking for work.

B.C. Liberal jobs critic Todd Stone says the latest data shows B.C.’s job growth stalled in January and the New Democrats are hindering economic recovery and failing small business.

But Kahlon says B.C. has seen nine consecutive months of job growth, bringing employment numbers to more than 98 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to hamper the province’s hospitality and tourism sectors, Kahlon said in a statement on Friday.

“Additionally, people of colour and Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia continue to face disproportionate impacts during this pandemic,” he said.

“Our province’s economic recovery will not fully take hold until vaccinations have been fully administered, which is why it is critically important we do everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus.”

A news release from the B.C. Liberal caucus says 41,700 fewer people are working compared to pre-pandemic levels last February, and Stone said the province’s economic recovery program has not responded.

He also highlighted the fact that only $12 million of $300 million in grant money for small and medium-sized businesses has been spent, which Stone said “speaks to the NDP’s incompetence in getting funds out the door.”

Kahlon said his ministry will continue to support the hardest-hit sectors and build a recovery that closes inequality gaps.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The current B.C. Men’s curling champions, Rick Sawatsky (Vernon and now living and working in Kelowna, from left), Andrew Nerpin (Kelowna), Jim Cotter (Vernon) and Steve Laycock (Saskatoon), have yet to find the win column at the 2021 Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary. (Black Press - file photo)
B.C. looking for Brier victory

Team B.C. falls to 0-2 Sunday, March 7, with 10-7 loss to Wild Card 1 entry from Manitoba

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
One of two Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreaks declared over

One outbreak declared over after two deaths, seven cases; another outbreak remains ongoing in the hospital

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna care home after 12 cases noted

Two staff members and 10 residents at Cottonwoods Care Centre have tested positive for COVID-19

There is no true picture of how many youth in Penticton are experiencing housing instability or true homelessness. The Foundry and the city of Penticton are trying to find that out.
How many youth are experiencing homelessness in Penticton?

Foundry Penticton and the City have partnered on a youth survey open until March 13

Chelsea Ishizuka was borned and raised in Penticton but has now moved to Japan. When she found out there was a popular restaurant there named after Penticton, she had to go check it out. Here she is with the owner (right). (Facebook)
Popular restaurant in Japan named after city of Penticton

A Pentictonite now living in Tokyo discovered the eatery and the history behind its name

Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary has teamed up with Globox on a fundraising raffle for its graduating class of 2021. (Photo supplied)
Okanagan secondary school grads glowing over fundraiser

Kalamalka Secondary teams with company on fundraising raffle, replacing annual apple pie fundraiser

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Most Read