Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

BC government has fun with figures despite job losses

British Columbia lost nearly 11,000 jobs between September and October, bad news for Christy Clark who has made labour force statistics central to her premiership.

Figures Statistics Canada released today show a drop in full-time and part-time employment from 2,328,300 in September to 2,317,400 in October for the province. Despite the loss, a shrinking labour force meant the unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent from 7 percent.

In her speech to the BC Liberal Party convention in Whistler last weekend, Clark said her BC Jobs Plan is working and had generated 57,000 jobs, a figure many observers have said is dubious since it requires being selective about which months to count.

Clark launched the jobs plan in September 2011. The job figure she cited, however, required starting the calculation a month earlier, in August. In that month before the launch the province gained nearly 28,000 jobs.

If one counts, however, from the actual month of the BC Jobs Plan launch, Sept. 2011, the figure to Sept. 2012 is a more modest 29,500. With the October job losses, it shrinks further to 18,600 jobs, about one third of the number Clark cited in Whistler.

A B.C. government press release said the jobs plan remains "on track" despite the job losses. "There are bound to be fluctuations in the monthly jobs numbers but our focus remains steady economic growth by continuing to invest in a skilled workforce," it quoted Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Minister Pat Bell saying.

The release cited job figures starting from Feb. 2011, seven months before Clark announced her jobs plan. During those months ahead of the announcement the province gained nearly 38,000 jobs.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus