Kelowna’s unemployment rate decreased by a full percentage point to 9 per cent in August 2020. (File photo)

Kelowna’s unemployment rate decreased by a full percentage point to 9 per cent in August 2020. (File photo)

Central Okanagan unemployment rate drops despite decrease in workforce

Unemployment rate now sits at 9 per cent, well below provincial, national rates

For the second month in a row, the Central Okanagan’s unemployment rate decreased in August, despite fewer people actually working.

According to data published by Statistics Canada on Friday, Sept. 4, by June, the unemployment rate in the Kelowna census metropolitan area (CMA), which covers Lake Country through Peachland, skyrocketed to 10.2 per cent from January’s 4.2 per cent. In August, that number dropped a full percentage point to 9 per cent from July’s 10 per cent.

Unemployment numbers peaked in July, as around 11,000 people in the area were without a job. That number decreased by approximately 1,200 in August, leaving around 9,800 people unemployed.

However, due to a slight decrease in the labour force, there are fewer people employed in the region this month than last.

The labour force decreased by 1,400 to 108,800 people from July’s 110,200. But, the Central Okanagan only suffered a net loss of around 300 workers, as the number of employed people decreased to 98,900 in August from 99,200 in July.

The drop in available workers likely isn’t attributable to people moving away, as the region experienced a population growth of around 400 people in August. Instead, it’s likely those people removed themselves from the workforce by ceasing their job search.

The Kelowna CMA is one of only three across the country that saw a decrease in the labour force, alongside Guelph, Ont., and Moncton, N.B.

Despite this, the Kelowna CMA was the only one Statistics Canada recorded across the country as having a dip in employment.

Statistics Canada plots B.C.’s unemployment rate at 10.7 per cent. Provincial officials said B.C. has recovered 246,900 jobs and total employment now stands at 94 per cent of the pre-pandemic level in February. Around 15,300 of those jobs were created within the last month — 87 per cent of which were full-time jobs.

Nationwide, the economy added 246,000 in August as the pace of job gains slowed compared with July, when 419,000 jobs were added. The unemployment rate fell to 10.2 per cent in August compared with 10.9 per cent in July.

READ MORE: Trudeau says program extension delayed some CERB payments

READ MORE: Canada’s economic optimism crippled by pandemic, Pew poll suggests

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusEmployment

Just Posted

There are currently 15 Kid’s Don’t Float PFD loaner stations located throughout the Shuswap, with three more planned to go up this year. (Shuswap Watershed Council image)
New life-jacket stations planned for Enderby, Eagle Bay

National Lifejacket Day prompts reminder to boaters that accidents can happen

Fate, an American cocker spaniel bred at Lavington’s Aladdin Cockers by Carol and Robin Edwards, is currently the No. 1 ranked cocker spaniel in the U.S. and has drawn an invitation to the world’s most famous dog show, the Westminster Kennel Club event in New York, next month. (Photo submitted)
Lavington-bred cocker spaniel to strut stuff at Westminster Kennel Club

Fate, an American cocker spaniel bred by Carol and Robin Edwards, is the No. 1-ranked cocker spaniel in the U.S.

Armstrong Regional Co-op board members Brett Kirkpatrick (left) and Robbie Hoyte (right) flank Scott John of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society. The co-op donated $2,500 to the society for its Save the Towne Theatre campaign. (ARC photo)
North Okanagan-Shuswap cooperative contributes to Vernon theatre campaign

Armstrong Regional Co-op kicks in $2,500 for Okanagan Screen Arts Society’s Save the Towne Theatre campaign

Geoff Mulligan (left) receives a Ribbons of Green Commendation award from Harold Sellers, Ribbons of Green Trails Society president. (Ribbons of Green photo)
Volunteer puts Vernon trails on the map

Geoff Mulligan earns commendation from Ribbons of Green Trails Society for volunteer work

Coldstream Fire Department is on-scene Sunday, May 16, battling a fire in a Matner Lane orchard just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Coldstream fire crew tackles orchard blaze

Fire broke out just before 2 p.m. on Matner Lane, which is just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road

‘COVID to COVID’ lung transplant patient says he’s grateful at a May 14, 2021, news conference in Chicago. (CP screenshot)
‘COVID to COVID’ lung transplant patient grateful

Renato Aquino became sick from COVID-19 in May 2020

Capt. Jenn Casey died in a crash just outside of Kamloops, B.C., on May 17, 2020. (CF Snowbirds)
Snowbirds to honour Capt. Casey, who died in B.C. crash, in 2021 tour

Tour will kick off in Ontario in June before heading west

A pedestrian wearing a mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 is bundled up for the cold weather as snow falls in downtown Vancouver on Saturday, February 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Cold front hits southern B.C., snow possible in mountain passes: Environment Canada

Much of B.C.’s southern interior will see temperatures plunge from highs of 30 C reached over the weekend

File photo (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Overturned kayak in Kelowna creek prompts police response

Kelowna RCMP is looking to speak with anyone who may know the individual associated with the kayak

Penticton city parks staff were busy this week using the beach grater to sift through sand, getting the shores ready for beach season. When it comes to beach clean up they are collecting run-off debris, pulling weeds and picking up litter. (Penticton photo)
Hottest day of the year, so far, in the South Okanagan

Penticton city park staff cleaned up the beaches getting ready for the season

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
B.C. boy receives medal of bravery, scholarship for rescue of child at Shuswap beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

This is what the glowing boulders look like at night at 28 Huth Ave. (Submitted)
PHOTOS: Glowing boulders popping up in the Okanagan

Local landscaper Brandon Messier also brought the Lost statue to its new home

A drug bust on Government Street in Duncan on Tuesday, March 30, led to a "substantial seizure" according to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. (File photo)
Search continues for diver who went missing in Okanagan Lake

Emergency crews continue to search for the 52-year-old who didn’t resurface Saturday

Most Read