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Minister’s statement on December Labour Force Survey results

January 5, 2024 at 9:28 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, has issued the following statement on the release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for December 2023:

“British Columbians continued to demonstrate that we’re stronger when we work together in the face of significant global challenges as a strong provincial economy in 2023 reinforced that our province is an economic and fiscal leader in Canada.

“B.C. led the country in job growth in December (+17,700), wrapping up a strong year for job creation in our province.

“In 2023, B.C. added 74,000 new jobs, some of the highest job growth in the country, with all  of B.C.’s employment gains last year being in full-time jobs.   

“Our unemployment rate remains one of the lowest among provinces (5.6%) and below the national average.

“In 2023, B.C. added 40,100 private-sector and self-employed jobs, demonstrating the continued strength of those sectors, even as we work together through global challenges. B.C.’s self-employment increase in 2023 is the highest among all provinces. We also have the second-highest private-sector employment increase among provinces in December, following another strong month for private-sector job growth in November.

“We continue to see the results of the actions we’re taking to deliver the quality, affordable and accessible child care that people and businesses count on as women’s employment in B.C. increased the most of any province in December.

“On the wage front, while we have more to do in the face of the challenges people are facing because of global inflation, B.C. is first among provinces in year-over-year growth in average hourly wage.

“In December, Statistics Canada confirmed that, since 2017, GDP growth in B.C. is 14.4%, the highest among large provinces, ahead of Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. Our debt to GDP is less than half that of Ontario and Quebec, and we have the highest credit ratings among provinces.

“B.C. also continues to report progress on creating and protecting hundreds of well-paying jobs throughout the province through the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund. Since the first project was announced last June, the fund has supported 38 projects for B.C. manufacturers to expand and fortify their operations. There are many more projects on the horizon with up to $180 million to be invested in businesses ready to modernize manufacturing sectors to create jobs and ensure more innovative and clean growth.

“Together we have taken important steps that are helping tackle the biggest challenges we are all facing and we are going to keep the momentum going. With a new year upon us, we will continue to find even more ways to take action on the issues that matter to British Columbians. We know that people and businesses can’t go it alone, and we have seen that supporting them is the right approach to continue to strengthen our economy.

“Through our StrongerBC Economic Plan, we will continue to drive clean economic development, focus on creating sustainable jobs for people and support small businesses to expand and grow.”

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