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BC starts 2022 strong with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada

Group of coworkers sitting together in a bright lounge

Despite a challenging start to the year with rising COVID‑19 cases and government restrictions, BC is kicking off 2022 strong with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

In 2021, BC added more than 100,000 jobs, which was a 3.9% increase compared to 2020. In December 2021 alone, BC added 25,000 new full‑time jobs.

“With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 5.3%, BC’s strong job numbers over the past year solidify our province as a leader in the ongoing pandemic recovery,” Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation said in a statement on the release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for December 2021.

“Employment is now 102.1% above pre-pandemic levels and is among the highest in Canada,” he said. “This means 56,000 more people are employed in BC today compared to before the pandemic.”

These favourable numbers are in line with and may even exceed BC’s labour market outlook for 2022, which affirms that there is expected to be more than 985,100 new job openings in the province due to confirmed or planned economic activities.

Overall, labour demand is expected to grow faster than supply in BC, resulting in tight labour market conditions where the demand for workers surpasses the supply of workers.

“Not only are more people employed, but more people have decided to make BC their home. Last year, in the first three quarters of 2021, more than 85,000 people arrived in BC from across Canada and around the world,” Kahlon said.

In BC, immigration is a significant economic driver. Immigrants are an important part of BC’s economic recovery during the COVID‑19 pandemic and for economic prosperity in the near and far future.

BC’s high standard of living, excellent health care system, competitive wages and benefits, diverse culture and safety make it no surprise that more and more people are considering the province to be a prime place to live, work and study.

In the 2016 Canadian census, it was revealed that BC has the second‑highest immigrant population compared to any other province or territory in Canada, with only Ontario having a greater immigrant population. A total of 1,292,675 immigrants made BC their home in 2016, representing 17.1% of Canada’s total immigrant population.

With the growth that BC is experiencing, the province is expecting to continue expanding the labour market and strengthening the available workforce in 2022.

Published on Jan. 28, 2022.