Greater Victoria's unemployment rate hit 11% in June — up from 10.1% in May, according to the latest report from Statistics Canada.
The numbers are in contrast to the rest of BC and Canada. Provincially, the rate was 13% in June compared to 13.4% in May. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 12.3% in June, down from 13.7% in May.
The economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt the tourism and hospitality sector especially hard, which could account for Greater Victoria's numbers. Our region typically has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada.
It's difficult to forecast where the rates will go from here as more businesses re-open and expand their operations. The hope is that an increase in local customers as well as a focus on travelling within the province will help.
“We’ve proven that flattening the curve is good for the economy,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told CHEK News. “We’re not back to the unemployment numbers that we had before ... but it does mean that we are embracing the ability to move forward to restart the economy.”