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B.C.'s unemployment rate was the most impacted in Canada by COVID-19

Earlier in the pandemic, 10.44 per cent of all British Columbia’s jobs were lost during a one-month period
A new study finds that British Columbia's unemployment rate is the most impacted in Canada by the pandemic. 

A new study finds that British Columbia's unemployment rate is the most impacted in Canada by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The study, conducted by, reveals that almost 40,000 jobs were lost in B.C. in one year due to the negative impact of COVID-19 on employment. Further, the province's unemployment rate more than doubled in 2020. 

Of course, there were periods during the pandemic where the unemployment rate was significantly worse than it is now. The study notes that the worst period was between December 2019 and April 2020 when the province lost a staggering 406,300 jobs in a mere five months. 

Early in the pandemic, B.C. saw its greatest job losses in a one-month period from March to April 2020. In March 2020, B.C. had 2,376,300 jobs--this number dropped to 2,128,300 in April 2020, which represents a total of 248,000 jobs lost in only one month.

Overall, 10.44 per cent of all British Columbia’s jobs were lost during this one-month period. 

Employment growth rate in British Columbia 

The unemployment rate saw a positive trend begin in May 2020, with a clear growth between April and May 2020 (+3.24%). After this time, the employment growth rate in British Columbia continued to rise and remain stable in November and December 2020 (respectively +0.38% and -0.07%). 

However, as of December 2020, more than 39,100 jobs are still missing in British Columbia in comparison with one year ago. This means that it is the province where the unemployment rate grew the most in Canada between the end of 2019 and the end of 2020.

As a result, B.C. no longer has the lowest unemployment rate in Canada; Quebec now holds that record.

The Atlantic provinces continue to have the highest unemployment rate, with 10.8 per cent at the end of 2020. 

“All the Canadian provinces are facing difficulties regarding their job market due to the actual pandemic situation. However, even if the jobs were particularly affected, Canada and British Columbia are starting to rise again," says Antoine Fruchard, insurance expert and CEO at

"Indeed, the employment rate is growing since May and it’s a really good indicator for the Canadian economy. However, there’s still a long way to go before we get back to the indicators of the beginning of the year 2020, since new lockdowns and restrictions measures have been taken again in December in a significant number of cities in BC. We can surely hope that 2021 will be a better year regarding the job market.”

The job market in British Columbia city per city

Vancouver and Abbotsford-Mission are, by far, the cities where the unemployment rate is the highest in British Columbia (8.1%) as of November 2020. This represents approximately 122,600 people unemployed for Vancouver and 8,600 for Abbotsford–Mission. 

Cities of British Columbia Unemployment rate in November 2020 Number of unemployed people in November 2020
Vancouver 8.1% 122,600
Abbotsford–Mission 8.1% 8,600
Victoria 6.3% 13,000
Kelowna 4.7% 5,200