Kelowna’s unemployment rate saw a bigger spike in April than it has since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, the Central Okanagan retained one of the lowest jobless rates across major centres in Canada.
According to Statistics Canada data, the unemployment rate through April in the Kelowna census metropolitan area (CMA), which includes surrounding municipalities such as Peachland, West Kelowna and Lake Country, was 5.7 per cent. That’s good for the fifth-lowest slot among CMA’s, centres of more than 100,000 people, across the country and second in B.C., behind Abbotsford.
However, it is a 0.7 per cent increase from the five per cent unemployment rate reported in March. In March, 109,300 people were employed compared to 107,600 in April.
Since January, when Kelowna had the lowest jobless rate nationwide at 4.6 per cent, the figure has jumped more than a full percentage point.
Across Canada, the economy lost 207,000 jobs in April as the unemployment rate rose to 8.1 per cent from 7.5 per cent in March.
The losses in April nearly wiped out the 303,000 jobs added in March when the economy outpaced expectations and put the country about 503,100 jobs, or 2.6 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.
More losses were seen in full-time work than part-time work, with the figures respectively at 129,000 and 78,000, with the retail sector and young workers hit hardest.
Regionally, Ontario saw a drop of 153,000 positions in April, and British Columbia witnessed its first decrease in employment since a historic plunge in the labour market in April 2020.
-With files from The Canadian Press
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