Vancouver - The ranks of unemployed workers in BC grew as full-time jobs declined slightly, while BC leads the country in the prevalence of precarious part-time work, according to March jobs numbers released today by Statistics Canada.
Almost 10,000 more British Columbians were out of work compared to the previous month as the labour force grew and the full-time job count declined by more than 2,000, says BC Federation of Labour President Irene Lanzinger.
“It’s always disheartening when more workers face unemployment and have to struggle even harder to get ahead in the country’s most expensive place to live,” says Lanzinger. “Clearly the March numbers snapshot a shakey jobs picture in our province.”
With part-time jobs rising by more than 6,000 compared to February, Lanzinger points out that BC leads Canada in a precarious work index—the number of part-time jobs as a percentage of total employment.
According to the Statscan numbers, 21.2% of all jobs in BC are part-time, which tend to be lower paying, with fewer benefits, and unstable hours and working conditions compared to full-time work. By comparison only 18.7% of jobs in Alberta and 18.5% in Ontario are part-time.
“The preponderance of precarious part-time work here in BC is indicative of a crisis in good quality jobs that weakens the foundation of our economy and underpins the high levels of disparity and inequality that are so rampant in our province,” Lanzinger says.