Issue 16-133: Labour Force Statistics

July 8, 2016

B.C. Highlights

The unemployment rate in British Columbia was 5.9% in June, down from 6.1% in May, as employment increased by 16,000, outpacing growth in the labour force of 11,800 persons. Compared to June 2015, the unemployment rate remained at 5.9%, with job creation (+70,000) slightly lagging growth in the labour force (+75,400).

On a monthly basis, full-time jobs (+16,900) accounted for all of the increase in employment, with part-time employment (-900) remaining virtually the same. Among workers aged 25 to 54, full-time employment increased by 18,800, while among youth (15 to 24 years of age) and older workers (55 years and over) there were moderate declines of 1,500 and 400, respectively.

In June, employment growth was concentrated in the private sector (+13,400), with an identical proportional increase in the public sector (+4,000). The number of self-employed people decreased by 1,400.

Provincial Comparisons

 At 5.9%, British Columbia’s unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada during the month of June. Manitoba (6.1%) and Saskatchewan (6.1%) were tied for second lowest unemployment rate, followed by Ontario (6.4%). Alberta’s unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage points to 7.9% for sixth lowest, after Quebec at 7.0%.

National Highlights

Employment in Canada was unchanged (-700) in June and the unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 6.8% as a result of fewer people participating in the labour force.


In June, employment in British Columbia for men (aged 25 years and over) increased by 8,700 jobs. The labour force grew by a smaller amount (+7,500) during the same time period, causing the unemployment rate to decrease by 0.2 percentage points to 5.3%.
For women (aged 25 years and over), employment went up by 4,000 jobs while the labour force shrank in size (-1,300), sending the unemployment rate down by 0.5 percentage points to 4.7%.

Compared to June 2015, the unemployment rate for men was unchanged at 5.3%, while there was an increase of 0.2 percentage points to 4.7% for women. Compared to a year ago, jobs for men strengthened by 27,900 (+2.6%), and for women employment climbed by 36,600 (+3.9%).

Youths Aged 15 to 24 Years

The unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 years was up by 0.5 percentage points to 11.2% in June. Both employment (+3,300) and the labour force (+5,700) grew. Part-time jobs (+4,800) mostly compensated for a decline in full-time jobs (-1,500). Compared to June 2015, the unemployment rate for youth decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 11.2%.


 In June, employment in the goods-producing sector was down slightly (-700 or -0.1%) overall. Employment contracted in construction (-3,600 or -1.7%) and agriculture (-200 or ‑0.8%). There were increases in employment for manufacturing (+2,400 or +1.5%), forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (+600 or +1.1%), and utilities (+200 or +1.5%). Compared to June 2015, the goods-producing sector gained 18,400 (+4.1%) jobs.

Employment in the services-producing sector was up (+16,700 or +0.9%) from May overall. There were fewer jobs in wholesale and retail trade (-8,400 or -2.3%), information, culture and recreation (-2,200 or -1.8%), health care and social assistance (-2,100 or -0.7%) and public administration (-800 or -0.8%), with counterbalancing gains spread out across the remaining industries. The largest advances were in accommodation and food services (+9,800 or +5.8%), professional, scientific and technical services (+7,800 or +4.0%), and business, building and other support services (+4,500 or +4.4%). The services-producing sector expanded by 51,600 (+2.8%) jobs since June 2015.

Visit the Labour Market Statistics page on the BC Stats website.