There were 800 more people working in the Central Okanagan this past December than the month before.
Statistics Canada released the latest unemployment figures Friday, and in the Central Okanagan the unemployment rate in December was 4.8 per cent, down from 4.9 per cent in November.
In Kelowna, there were 107,400 people working in December, up from 106,800 the previous month.
Statistics Canada only highlights four B.C. regions in its national report.
In Abbotsford-Mission, the December unemployment rate was 4.4 per cent, down from 4.6 per cent in November.
In Vancouver, the unemployment rate was 4.6 per cent, up from 4.4 per cent in November
Victoria had the best unemployment rate in B.C., coming in at 3.4 per cent. That was down from 3.5 per cent in November, also making it the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the country.
Provincially, the Labour Force Survey indicated that in December, the overall unemployment rate was at a historic low of 4.2 per cent, one of the lowest in the country.
Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, said in a press release that B.C. added 62,900 new jobs last year.
“In 2022, we launched our StrongerBC Economic Plan to build a clean economy that works for everyone. These job numbers show that our focus on people is supporting good-paying jobs throughout B.C., even as we see new global uncertainties on the horizon.
“Three-quarters of last year’s job growth was driven by women’s employment, reflecting our work to expand access to affordable, accessible child care. B.C.’s 2022 job growth was also driven by strong year-over-year increases in private-sector jobs and self-employment (+54,700), and full-time jobs (+45,300). B.C. added 16,600 jobs overall in December alone,” Bailey said.
Nationally, Statistics Canada said there were an additional 104,000 jobs last month, dropping the unemployment rate to 5.0 per cent for the month. That’s down from 5.1 per cent in November and just above the record low of 4.9 per cent seen in June.
Total hours worked in December were up 1.4 per cent annually — “little changed” despite the growth in overall employment, Statistics Canada said.
Average hourly wages were up 5.1 per cent annually, marking the seventh consecutive month wage growth was above 5.0 per cent but still failing to keep pace with inflation.
Statistics Canada said youth aged 15 to 24 led the growth with 69,000 jobs added in December, reversing losses from this age group seen in late summer.
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