Statistics Canada

The country's jobless rate fell to 7.1% in August, the lowest since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, Statistics Canada reported Friday. But greater Kelowna's jobless rate rose slightly, from 5.6% in July to 5.7% last month.

Greater Kelowna's jobless rate edged up slightly in August, to 5.7% from 5.6% in July, bucking the national trend, but the region still has a comparatively bright employment picture.

Almost two thousand more people were working in Kelowna last month compared to July, but the jobless rate still rose slightly because more than 2,000 people joined the local labour force.

The Central Okanagan's unemployment rate is still considerably below the national average of 7.1%. But the national rate was down four-tenths of a percentage point from July.

Kelowna now has the country's eighth-lowest unemployment rate among the 37 largest cities for which Statistics Canada compiles jobless data. That's down two positions from July.

However, B.C. remains the lone province with employment above pre-pandemic levels.

"The Labour Force Survey for August shows that B.C. is making great strides in our economic recovery with another 14,400 jobs gained throughout the province - 13,600 of these jobs are among women. All job gains are full-time," BC Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon said in a release.

For much of the latter half of 2020 and earlier this year, Kelowna had Canada's lowest or second-lowest jobless rate.

Last month, 109,000 people were working in the Central Okanagan, up from 107,200 in July. But 6,600 were unemployed, compared to 6,300 the month before.

The drop in the national jobless rate was due mainly to increased employment in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia, Statistics Canada says. At 7.1%, Canada's unemployment rate is now the lowest it has been since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

Almost 70,000 of the 90,000 jobs added nationwide last month were in private sector full-time work, Statistics Canada says.

The job gains were aided by the continued re-opening across the country of business, such as restaurants, retail stores, and entertainment venues, which had been closed or were operating under capacity restrictions, earlier in the pandemic, Statistics Canada says.