Candidate Ravi Kahlon listens as party leader John Horgan speaks to NDP supporters during a campaign stop in Surrey, B.C., on Monday May 8, 2017. Kahlon, who is now British Columbia’s jobs minister, says the latest employment numbers from Statistics Canada show the provincial economy remains resilient. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Candidate Ravi Kahlon listens as party leader John Horgan speaks to NDP supporters during a campaign stop in Surrey, B.C., on Monday May 8, 2017. Kahlon, who is now British Columbia’s jobs minister, says the latest employment numbers from Statistics Canada show the provincial economy remains resilient. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Employment data shows B.C. resilient, says minister, but Liberals unimpressed

Ravi Kahlon, minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation, says B.C. created 2,800 jobs in January

British Columbia’s jobs minister says the latest employment numbers from Statistics Canada show the provincial economy remains resilient.

The unemployment rate in B.C. last month was eight per cent, up from 7.2 per cent in December.

The national jobless rate was 9.4 per cent in January, up from 8.8 per cent in December, and economists say that’s mainly due to the loss of hundreds of thousands of service sector jobs, most in Ontario and Quebec.

Ravi Kahlon, the minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation, says B.C. created 2,800 jobs in January and analysts peg the higher unemployment rate to more people looking for work.

B.C. Liberal jobs critic Todd Stone says the latest data shows B.C.’s job growth stalled in January and the New Democrats are hindering economic recovery and failing small business.

But Kahlon says B.C. has seen nine consecutive months of job growth, bringing employment numbers to more than 98 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to hamper the province’s hospitality and tourism sectors, Kahlon said in a statement on Friday.

“Additionally, people of colour and Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia continue to face disproportionate impacts during this pandemic,” he said.

“Our province’s economic recovery will not fully take hold until vaccinations have been fully administered, which is why it is critically important we do everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus.”

A news release from the B.C. Liberal caucus says 41,700 fewer people are working compared to pre-pandemic levels last February, and Stone said the province’s economic recovery program has not responded.

He also highlighted the fact that only $12 million of $300 million in grant money for small and medium-sized businesses has been spent, which Stone said “speaks to the NDP’s incompetence in getting funds out the door.”

Kahlon said his ministry will continue to support the hardest-hit sectors and build a recovery that closes inequality gaps.

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

Just Posted

Residents began moving into the new housing project of Arrow Heights this month. (Submitted)
‘Step in the right direction’: New affordable homes open in Nakusp

Council aims to still provide more affordable housing options for Nakusp

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Gas prices jumped in Golden to 131.9c this week, a trend that’s supposed to continue into the summer. (Claire Palmer/Golden Star)
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Clovechok concerned as gas prices continue to rise

Fuel prices are supposed to skyrocket this summer as British Columbians await BCUC analysis

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has received a grant for the completion of housing reports for Electoral Areas B, D, and F. (Gerry Leibel photo)
Grant allows Columbia Shuswap Regional District to finish housing reports

Study toidentify issues such as affordability and accessibility specific to Areas B, D and F

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent comes first and last for B.C. industrial projects

Environment minister can still approve permits without consent

In this photo taken in 2014, a Fisheries officer displays a chinook salmon that has been snagged - an illegal method of catching fish that involves hooking them, often in the belly or tail or fins. They often get away but the injuries can lead to death or the inability of a female fish to spawn. (DFO photo)
Shuswap man gets more penalties after breaking fishing prohibition

Ashton Creek man gets second prohibition after catching chinook illegally in Shuswap River in 2014

A 48-year-old Vernon man was killed in a vehicle accident on Corkcrew Road in Spallumcheen Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, police have confirmed. (Google Maps)
Vernon man dies in crash on Spallumcheen road

The 48-year-old man’s vehicle went off-road on Corksrew Road Saturday night

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Pathways Addictions Centre is in jeopardy of closing after Interior Health has pulled all its funding and will be taking over addiction services ‘in house’ as up May 31. (Facebook)
Future of South Okanagan community’s addictions centre in jeopardy after Interior Health pulls funding

Pathways has been in Penticton for over 20 years and has 10 staff, serving around 1,000 people

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

An investigation is underway after two VPD officers were recorded posing for pictures near a dead body at Third Beach on Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
Vancouver officers placed on desk duty after filmed posing next to dead body

Pair put in ‘non-deployable, admin positions’ as the investigation into their conduct continues

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice, and provides Kelowna Capital News with weekly stories from the world of local, national and international law. (Contributed)
Kootnekoff: Landmark Human Rights Decision: Francis v. BC Ministry of Justice

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

Most Read