Local unemployment rate at five-year low

Jobless rate for Abbotsford-Mission at 5.4 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.

The Abbotsford-Mission area’s unemployment rate reached its lowest point in more than five years this summer, according to Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Force Survey estimates.

The region’s unemployment rate hit 5.4 per cent in June and held steady in July – the lowest mark since the spring of 2010.

In 2010, however, the low unemployment figures were a blip, and quickly gave way to higher numbers. This year, though, measures of employment have remained strong for several months, with the unemployment rate hovering around or below the six per cent mark all year.

Abbotsford-Mission unemployment figures haven’t been this consistently low since 2008, just prior to the global financial crisis.

The numbers come in the face of data that suggests Canada may have entered a recession.

But the Abbotsford-Mission Census Metropolitan Area, on the other hand, has recorded not only a dip in the unemployment rate, but a substantial increase in the number of people looking for work.

Nearly 7,000 more people are estimated to be working this summer than were employed in January.

The unemployment rate is also now better than the British Columbia average. For much of 2014, the area had a significantly worse rate – as high as 8.4 per cent – than both the provincial average, and those of B.C.’s three other Census Metropolitan Areas, Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria.

In July, though, Abbotsford’s rate of 5.4 per cent was better than the provincial rate of six per cent.

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