Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.3 per cent in November, the lowest in Canada. (News files)

Victoria’s low unemployment rate raises concerns

The Capital Region had the lowest jobless rate in the country for November

Victoria’s unemployment rate for the month of November was the lowest in the country at 3.3 per cent, but the news may not be as good as it seems.

A low jobless rate is generally a good indicator of a healthy economy, said Dallas Gislason, economic development officer with the South Island Prosperity Project. However, when unemployment drops below four per cent, it could be the result of workers leaving the city, which leaves employers having a hard time attracting talent, he said.

“From a pure economic perspective, it is healthy,” he said. “At the same time, we need to look at it holistically … and one of the areas we need to really, really watch closely is the [housing] affordability pressures.”

Gislason pointed to San Francisco as an example. That city has among the highest incomes in North America, but the high cost of housing is forcing some people to move away.

Despite the low jobless numbers, the region lost around 2,000 people from the labour force in November. Employers in some sectors may find they have to raise wages to attract workers, given the cost of renting or buying a home in the region, Gislason added.

RELATED: Labour market ‘unstoppable’ as jobless rate drops to 5.9%

Canada’s overall unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 per cent in November, the lowest in nearly a decade, according to data released today by Statistics Canada.

The unemployment rate for Vancouver Island and the Coast dropped to 4.4 per cent from 4.9 per cent last month. Across the province, 18,000 more people were employed in November, up 3.8 per cent in year-over-year gains, mostly in full-time work.

Canada gained 29,600 full-time and 49,900 part-time jobs in November across the country. Job growth was primarily in the private sector with an additional 72,400 jobs created, while the public sector had 10,600 new jobs.

– With files from the Canadian Press

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

RELATED: Victoria’s unemployment rate lowest in Canada

Statistics Canadaunemployment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The State of Aging: COVID-19 exposed a long-term care system already in crisis

A look at Greater Victoria’s aging population and what that will mean for the future

Police seek ‘high-risk sex offender’ last seen in Victoria

Scott Jones is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for being ‘unlawfully at large’

Oak Bay home ready to house refugees, immigrants

District leases two village homes to Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society

Central Saanich police sport personalized face masks

Masks feature the crest and individual officer pin numbers

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read