The BC Government has announced that nearly 58 per cent of jobs lost in March and April, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been recovered.
In a statement from Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness, she said that the job creation in the province is a positive sign for the economy, but there is still a long way to go.
“The Labour Force Survey for July showed British Columbia created another 70,200 jobs last month,” said Mungall. “Added to the employment gains we saw in May and June, B.C. has recovered about 58 per cent of the jobs lost in March and April.”
The announcement follows the release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for July 2020 and the Minister of Jobs highlighted that significant job gains were made in some of the hardest-hit sectors.
“Wholesale and retail trade, along with food services and accommodation, increased by 48,300 jobs in July,” Mungall said.
According to the BC Government, total job losses since the start of the pandemic currently stand at 164,900, while the province’s unemployment rate stands at 11.1 per cent.
The unemployment rate, according to Mungall, fell by about two percentage points.
The government added that Statistics Canada has included race-based data in its monthly survey, which is providing a bigger picture of who has been impacted the most by the changing job market.
“From this first report, we see that South Asian, Arab and Black Canadians are seeing significantly higher unemployment rates across the country,” added the minister.
In addition to outlining the current job numbers in British Columbia, Mungall issued a joint statement with Premier John Horgan on Friday in regards to the aluminum tariffs being imposed by the United States.
President Donald Trump announced plans for a 10 per cent import tariff on Canadian raw aluminum that will be applied starting Aug. 16.
B.C. officials are referring to the decision as “disappointing.”
“Many people in B.C. earn their living in the aluminum industry. Canada’s exports of aluminum create good, family-supporting jobs and are important to the economy,” reads the joint statement.
Horgan and Mungall emphasized in their statement that Canadian imports don’t harm the United States market.
“It is unfortunate that the U.S. is taking this step at a time when our countries should be celebrating the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement and working together to help each other economically recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian government has responded to Trump’s decision by imposing $3.6 billion in tariffs as well.