The CPA of BC says that when the unemployment rate falls to near 5 per cent, the labour market is near capacity.

Kootenay labour market stalled in latest report

If labour supply continues to shrink, employers will find it increasingly difficult to hire workers

According to the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC annual economic report, the Kootenay labour market contracted in the last year. The market is down one per cent.

The biggest decrease came in construction, as major project development slow down led to a loss of 800 jobs. Kootenay agriculture and utilities industries also experienced losses.

On the plus side, manufacturing, forestry, fishing, mining and oil and gas all gained jobs.

“Despite a decline in production at Teck’s four coal mines in the Elk Valley and the suspension of operations at Coal Mountain, the mining industry added 600 jobs,” said Mike Calder, CPA, CA, partner at BDO Canada LLP in Cranbrook. “Coal prices remained strong for a second consecutive year, and kept activity in our mining industry consistent.”

Although employment in the Kootenays’ service sector remained unchanged at 49,500 positions, employment was re-distributed across the sector. Accommodation and food services lost 1,400 jobs despite a successful year for the Kootenays’ tourism industry, which saw tourist entries increase by 6.4 per cent. The health care and social assistance industry added 1,100 jobs in 2018, with new employment opportunities in hospitals, social assistance services, nursing and residential care facilities, and ambulatory health care services.

And despite a reduction in job numbers, the unemployment rate fell by two percentage points, to 5.3 per cent. This was mainly due to a decrease in the labour force of 2400 people, leaving fewer people unemployed.

“When unemployment rates fall to five per cent, it indicates that the labour market is near capacity,” noted Calder. “If our labour supply continues to shrink, employers will find it increasingly difficult to hire workers. This could hamper or delay business expansion plans.”

A spokesperson for the CPA of BC, Vivian Tse, said that there is no clear reason for why there was a reduction in the labour force.

“In general terms, it could be due to an increase in number of retirees, people who found work elsewhere (e.g. in Alberta), and/or people opting out of the labour force (stop looking).

“However at the same time the labour force contracted, Employer Insurance data indicated that the number of recipients fell by 19 per cent in 2018.”

The Kootenay Development Region is comprised of three Regional Districts: the Kootenay-Boundary, Central Kootenay, and East Kootenay. It accounts for nearly 3.2 per cent of the provincial population.

Just Posted

Summer glading and mowing at Kimberley Alpine Resort improves terrain

Kimberley Alpine Resort is scheduled to open for the season on Saturday,… Continue reading

Temporary solution for Grasmere Post Office, future uncertain

Kootenay-Columbia Member of Parliament Rob Morrison says he’s hoping for a positive outcome

Lois Creek watershed assessment to be unveiled at AGM

For the Bulletin Everyone is invited to attend the Annual General Meeting… Continue reading

Kimberley resident warns about phone scam involving pharmacy, prescriptions

Scammers are calling to ask for credit card information, claiming there is a prescription ready

Alberta company working to reclaim materials from fallen historical Wycliffe barn

Salvage Solutions aims to reclaim 80% of materials from a barn built in the early 1900’s.

‘I was bawling’: Injured Bronco’s mother stunned by his progress after surgery

Ryan Straschnitzki isn’t expecting a cure but hopes to restore some muscle movement

Smudging in B.C. classroom did not affect Christian family’s faith, says school district lawyer

Lawyers make closing arguments in a Port Alberni case about the Indigenous cultural practice

Canadian Forces member charged with possessing magic mushrooms in Comox

Master Cpl. Joshua Alexander, with the 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, facing two drug related charges

Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages: report

Create an emergency kit, BC Hydro says, and report all outages or downed lines

Study finds microplastics in all remote Arctic beluga whales tested

Lead author Rhiannon Moore says she wasn’t expecting to see so many microplastics so far north

Services needed in B.C. for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease patients: doctor, advocates

More patients are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at an earlier age

65-million-year-old triceratops fossil arrives in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a Triceratops prosus

B.C. widow sues health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Most Read