About Employment Information by Area

Current unemployment rates are produced by Statistics Canada's monthly Labour Force Survey; this survey samples approximately 6,500 households province-wide. This allows for the estimation of unemployment rates for

  • British Columbia
  • Metropolitan Vancouver
  • Abbotsford
  • Victoria
  • Kelowna
  • BC's Development Regions (North Coast & Nechako are aggregated)
  • Some smaller major urban areas.

Rates are sometimes suppressed for the Development Regions and major urban areas if estimates are too small to be reliable. These areas are also subject to sampling variability and are expressed as three-month moving averages.

The Census/National Household Survey offers the most geographic flexibility and provides unemployment rates for

  • Regional Districts
  • Incorporated places
  • Indian Reserves
  • Unorganized Census Subdivisions
  • Metropolitan areas
  • Urban areas (Census Agglomerations) and
  • Census Tracts (neighbourhood areas within large urban centres).

Labour force characteristics are also published for particular population groups, such as aboriginals (off-reserve) and immigrants. However, the Census/National Household Survey is taken only every five years, and the reference week is usually the end of May or early June. The option is available to request, on a user-cost basis, unemployment data for user-defined areas, populations, or both, directly from Statistics Canada.