BC’s unemployment rate edged up a bit in March from 4.1 to 4.3% but the ‘participation rate’ rose to a 13 year high at the same time. The ‘participation rate’ is the measure of working age people who either have jobs or are seeking them.
The amazing thing about these recent employment stats are how many jobs are in construction:
“The increase from the previous month came in construction and manufacturing, and in some services sectors, but there was a drop in financial and real-estate services,” Service Canada economist Rod Smelser said in an analysis.
Year-over-year, B.C. has created about 55,000 jobs. The province’s robust construction industry, which generated 28,000 jobs over this period, has been the main engine of that growth.
Employment in that sector stands at a record 219,000.
“There have been significant year-to-year employment declines in two areas — financial and real-estate services, down by 15,000 jobs, and manufacturing, down by 22,000 jobs,” Smelser said.
It’s curious that those building condos have plenty of work, while those funding and selling them are seeing job losses. It would be interesting to see employment stats by sector during other boom/bust cycles to determine if there is any pattern that precedes a bust. Certainly you have to wonder, can we have an economy primarily built on building?