Issue 18-119 Labour Force Statistics

July 6, 2018

B.C. Highlights

The unemployment rate in British Columbia was 5.2% in June, up from 4.8% in May and above the 5.1% from 12 months ago. While the labour force (+2,800) increased since May, the number of employed (‑8,000) contracted. Compared to 12 months ago, both employment (‑20,900) and the labour force (‑18,000) have decreased.

There were 2,100 full-time jobs added in June, while there were 10,100 fewer part-time jobs over the previous month. Full-time employment went up for the 15 to 24 (+4,400) and 25 to 54 (+400) age groups, while there were fewer full-time jobs (‑2,800) for those aged 55 and over. Most of the losses in part-time jobs were observed for the 15 to 24 (‑11,600) and the 55 and over (‑1,100) age groups, while there were more part-time jobs (+2,600) for those aged 25 to 54.

In June, employment in the private sector was down (‑12,300), while there were more employees in the public sector (+900). The number of self-employed individuals was up (+3,400) compared to May.

Provincial Comparisons

At 5.2%, British Columbia’s unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada during the month of June. Quebec had the second lowest unemployment rate (5.4%), followed by Ontario (5.9%) and Manitoba (6.1%). Alberta (6.5%) had the fifth highest unemployment rate.

National Highlights

Compared to the previous month, employment in Canada increased by 31,800 in June, while the unemployment rate was up 0.2 percentage points to 6.0%. The unemployment rate was down from one year ago, when it was 6.5%.


In June, employment in British Columbia for men (aged 25 years and over) declined by 4,200 jobs, while the labour force shrank by 3,800. As a result, the unemployment rate was 4.8%, up from 4.7% for the previous month.

For women (aged 25 years and over), employment increased by 3,200 jobs in June. The labour force increased by 6,900, which resulted in the unemployment rate climbing to 4.2% from 3.9% the previous month.

Compared to June 2017, the unemployment rate for men was up by 0.3 percentage points to 4.8%, and for women it was down 0.5 percentage points to 4.2%. Jobs for men increased by 2,200 (+0.2%) compared to a year ago, and employment for women increased by 2,400 (+0.2%).

Youth Aged 15 to 24 Years

The unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 years was 9.4% in June, up 1.8 percentage points from the previous month. Total employment decreased by 7,200, while 300 individuals left the labour force. There were employment gains for full-time jobs (+4,400), while the number of part-time positions (‑11,600) decreased.

Compared to June 2017, the unemployment rate for youth was up 1.9 percentage points to 9.4%.

Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs)

In June, employment shrank in Victoria (‑5,800 or ‑2.9%), Kelowna (‑3,400 or ‑3.2%), Vancouver (‑2,400 or ‑0.2%), and Abbotsford (‑900 or ‑0.9%). The area outside the CMAs (+4,500 or +0.7%) saw an increase in employment from the previous month.


Employment in the goods-producing sector was down (‑1,400 or ‑0.3%) in June. Most of the losses were felt by the agriculture (‑2,600 or ‑10.8%) industry, while construction (‑1,200 or ‑0.5%) and manufacturing (‑700 or ‑0.4%) also saw decreases. There were job gains in utilities (+1,800 or +13.3%) and forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (+1,300 or +2.7%). In the twelve months to June, the goods-producing sector shed 3,300 (‑0.7%) jobs.

In June, overall employment was down for the services-producing sector (‑6,700 or ‑0.3%) compared to the previous month. Within industries, wholesale and retail trade (‑8,100 or ‑2.2%) posted the largest decrease, followed by health care and social assistance (‑3,400 or ‑1.0%), educational services (‑3,300 or ‑2.0%), and finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (‑2,100 or ‑1.4%). Conversely, professional, scientific and technical services (+3,600 or +1.8%), transportation and warehousing (+3,000 or +2.2%), public administration (+2,000 or +2.0%), and business, building and other support services (+1,700 or +1.8%) all added positions in June. Since June 2017, the services-producing sector has lost 17,500 (‑0.9%) positions.

Visit the Labour Market Statistics page for detailed data tables and other resources.