More people were looking for work in Greater Victoria in July, leading to a bump in the region's unemployment rate over June. The latest report from Statistics Canada shows that the labour market remains robust across the country. The national unemployment rate for July was 4.9%, the same as June. The provincial rate was 4.7% in July and 4.6% in June, while Greater Victoria was 4.3% in July compared to 4.1% in June.
Nationally, there was no recorded spike in days lost to illness with the number aligning with the pre-pandemic average. Wages continued to grow, rising 5.2% in July compared to the same month in 2021.
“We also know employers in key fields, such as health care and child care, need more workers to fill important jobs in BC," BC's Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation Ravi Kahlon said in a news release. "We are training people for these roles, while also working to bring in skilled workers through the Provincial Nominee Program."
Kahlon said the province is urging the federal government to expand the number of skilled immigrants coming through the BC Provincial Nominee Program from 7,000 to 10,000 by 2025. The program offers skilled immigrants a pathway to permanent residence in BC.
The Chamber continues to advocate for immigration as one of the solutions to Greater Victoria's labour shortage. More workers, as well as improvements to how Canada recognizes foreign credentials, are needed if organizations are going to have the workforce required to reach their economic potential.