WATCH: Low unemployment rate of 4.7 per cent creates challenges for Victoria employers. April Lawrence reports.
As it undergoes a major renovation and expansion, the Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria has been on a hiring frenzy.
“We did hiring for over 100 people this year so it was big, a lot of work but it’s been great,” said Empress Recruitment Manager Jillian Den Otter-Minter.
A lot of work considering Victoria has the lower unemployment rate in the country.
In August only 4.9 per cent of the labour force was looking for work, lower than the provincial rate of 5.5 per cent and well below the national rate of 7 per cent.
Over the past year, an additional 7400 people found work in the region.
“Help wanted signs in all the windows, when’s the last time we saw that?”questioned Christine Willow, professional recruiter with Chemistry Consulting in Victoria.
“If you want to work you can probably find work,” she said.
A strong economy is to thank, with growth not only in the tourism sector and government, but in professional positions like architects, lawyers, and engineers.
“We’re bringing people in from across Canada as much as possible,” said Willow.
“We’re using the NAFTA agreement to bring in some companies’ engineers from the United States.”
With a loss of 53,000 jobs over the past year many employers are finding Alberta workers filling the void.
But businesses not only have to look outside of B.C. for employees, they have to get creative.
The Empress held three job fairs this year, and even though the tourism season is winding down, they’re still hiring.
“I currently have I think 14 positions open, five of those are leadership positions and the remaining are some hourly positions here and there,” said Den Otter-Minter.
Experts say even if you don’t tick all the boxes on the application form, employers may still want you.
“We have some employers who will say, look, I will take anybody I will train them, if they have a willing attitude, if they’re healthy, if they have a desire to learn, I will take them,” said Willow.
An opportunity for workers, and a challenge for employers expected to last at least into next year.