On the heels of a surge in employment in November, Canadian employment posted a strong increase again in December, growing by 40,000 jobs. December's increase in jobs was entirely due to gains in full-time employment. The Canadian economy added just shy of 100,000 new jobs in the final two months of 2012, which pushed the national unemployment rate to 7.1 per cent, its lowest level in 4 years.
Job growth in the BC economy was essentially flat as an increase of 4,300 in full-time employment was mostly offset by declining part-time employment. The BC unemployment rate fell 0.3 points to finish the year at 6.5 per cent. Despite some softness towards the end of the year, the story of the BC labour market in 2012 was overwhelmingly positive. BC employment grew 1.7 per cent in 2012, a marked improvement from just 0.8 per cent in 2011, while annual growth in full-time employment was 2.8 per cent in 2012 compared with just 0.5 per cent in 2011. The provincial unemployment rate averaged 6.8 per cent in 2012, the first time in 4 years that unemployment fell below 7 per cent.
Finally, the US economy continued its slow and steady recovery, adding155,000 jobs in December following job growth of 161,000 in November. The US unemployment rate remained constant, finishing the year at 7.8 per cent.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.