An employee working at Pacific Bolt, a manufacturing plant in Gloucester Industrial Park. (File photo)

An employee working at Pacific Bolt, a manufacturing plant in Gloucester Industrial Park. (File photo)

‘Optimism will prevail’: Surrey Board of Trade reviews labour survey

‘Vaccinations continue to be the pathway to recovery’

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey showed a slight drop in employment (0.4 per cent) nationally last month, however, the Surrey Board of Trade is optimistic about B.C.’s pathway to pandemic recovery.

Despite a slightly slowed job recovery last month, the Surrey Board of Trade is confident that B.C. is well-positioned fiscally, economically and public health-wise to survive further adverse labour market impacts of the pandemic, according to a review of the survey published Friday (June 4).

“B.C.’s job recovery stalled slightly in May 2021, particularly impacting certain goods and service industries, partly from public health restrictions, however, recovery should pick up with the easing of restrictions in BC’s Restart Plan and increased vaccinations,” SBOT CEO Anita Huberman said in a release.

According to the survey, accommodation and food services, agriculture, construction, retail and personal service industries are still of concern and have room for recovery to pre-pandemic employee levels.

B.C.’s job recovery stalled slightly in May, particularly impacting certain goods and service industries, partly due to public health restrictions, the release notes.

SEE ALSO: Surrey has recovered 33,000 jobs that were lost to pandemic

Visible minorities, Indigenous women, and youth are still experiencing great job impacts from the pandemic.

The Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey data reflects labour market conditions during the week of May 9-15.

“If COVID-19 case growth is blunted, vaccinations continue to ramp up and business and workplace restrictions are loosened before summer – optimism will prevail,” the SBOT said in a release.

Across Canada, employment fell by 68,000 jobs, or .4 per cent, in May, while the unemployment rate increased slightly to 8.2 per cent. Majority of the job loses, about 54,000, were in part-time work.

Nationally, there was a decline in manufacturing jobs (36,000), construction (16,000), retail trade (29,000) and other services (24,000), however, employment increased in transportation (22,000), and natural resources (8,600). Jobs in natural resources are leading the way in recovery across Canada with 29,000 more jobs than pre-pandemic levels, the survey notes.

The largest job losses in May were in Ontario and Nova Scotia, with slight increases in Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island.

“Vaccinations continue to be the pathway to recovery and businesses in B.C. need to continue to be supported to move to recovery and resiliency as they see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel,” Huberman said in the release.