(Canadian Press/Justin Tang)

Unemployment rate remains high in Kelowna

Latest labour survey shows Kelowna not yet back to pre-pandemic numbers

As Canada begins its return to a pre-pandemic state, so does the workforce.

Jobless rates, which saw record highs in many parts of the nation, including B.C. communities, have recently begun to once again lower.

Kelowna’s unemployment rate is among those that have begun to fall; Though not at a rate consistent with the rest of the country.

February’s Labour Force Survey, conducted by Statistics Canada, showed that Kelowna’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.2 per cent to 7.1 per cent since the new year. Province-wide, however, the unemployment rate has dropped much closer to pre-pandemic levels at 4.9 per cent, one of the lowest in Canada.

Comparatively, the City of Vancouver’s unemployment rate fell from 5.7 per cent to 5.4 per cent, while Victoria’s actually rose, yet still sits at just 4.2 per cent.

B.C. also boasts the highest job recovery rate in Canada since the start of the pandemic at 103.2 per cent. Much of this uptick can be attributed to the loosening of social restrictions, and the workforce making a return to the office environment.

Kelowna’s poor showing in unemployment comes despite the labour force actually dropping in size in the past month by about one thousand possible workers.

It is a stark contrast to Kelowna’s rates during the height of the pandemic; Kelowna had the lowest unemployment rate in the country in February of 2021, and stayed among the lowest in terms of major municipalities throughout the majority of last year.

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