Greater Victoria's unemployment rate of 4.1% in December was unchanged from November 2023. According to Statistics Canada, the region's population increased to 367,400 from 366,700 over the month.
Our local labour force was also up with 244,700 people in December compared to 242,900 in November.
The stats reflect the national trend as employment growth slowed in the second half of 2023 with population growth outpacing the number of new jobs added to the economy.
"The momentum in the labour market is weakening alongside the fastest population growth in more than 50 years," Canadian Chamber Senior Economist Andrew DiCapua stated in a news release. "With essentially flat job growth in December, the Canadian labour market ends 2023 with over 5% wage growth and an unemployment rate steady at 5.8%. Although hours worked rose for the month, this will be a drag on fourth quarter GDP as we round out the year. This signals to the Bank of Canada that the guise of a strong labour market is cracking amid strong labour force gains. With wages accelerating, the Bank was wise to not celebrate at their last meeting, possibly delaying their intentions to begin rate cuts."