March In Like A Lion

March: In Like a Lion

Well, it sure feels like March came in like a Lion.  Or in the case of the Labour Market, a pride of Lions each with a story to tell. And just like a Lion, March seemed both beautiful and worrisome. Our job board is full, our clients’ job search strategies are leading to employment, and yet the numbers from BC Stats have been better.

As of March 31st BC’s unemployment rate is tied with Ontario’s as the fifth lowest in Canada at 8.1%. This current rate is down from the February 2011 unemployment rate of 8.8%. While employment gains played a role, the primary contributor to the growing unemployment rate was the drop in the provincial participation rate (people actively seeking work) from 65.8% to 65.4%. 

Total employment in BC remained virtually unchanged in March since February. Bucking against the national average, all of BC’s gains were in part time work − up by 7,400 jobs −  while full time work in BC registered a loss of 3,900 jobs. In our region BCStats calls Vancouver Island/Coast, our unemployment rate increased in the last month by 1% to 9.1%. 

So what’s the Labour Market like in Powell River? We think things may be heating up, keeping in mind the unemployment rate lags behind what is happening now. Have you walked by our sidewalk’s famous job board lately? Of the impressive 206 Career Link clients who found work so far this year, 92 of them found work in March alone which is up from 61 clients who found work in March, 2010. Way to go each and every one of you! 

BC Human Resources Management Association Director of Research and Learning, Ian Cook recently told the publication Business in Vancouver:

“Organizations have gone through the crisis, they’ve started to reset their strategies, they’re now starting to invest in plans to deliver on those strategies […] They’re looking for the best talent they can afford, so there are more vacancies up there.”

Cook expects that soon the unemployment rate will reduce as the jobs and opportunties start to flow. 

The number of Career Link job postings should help the cause. Job postings are up … way up … Powell River employers have advertised 30 more jobs at Career Link this March over last March. So far this year, 165 job opportunities have been posted with us …. this time last year we were at 111 job postings.  We think an increase in job postings indicates there are more jobs available (perhaps more part time than full time) and that because employers are looking for the best talent they can find, a Career Link posting reaches their target audience with up front details and requirements. Clearly the unemployment rate indicates it’s still an employer’s market so job seekers must be creative, targeted and thorough in their job search.  At Career Link our Employment Counsellors will help you get creative, target your resume to successfully highlight your relevant experience and work with you to help you tap into your lion’s share of confidence to identify and go after the best job for you; the one that you really want.

Summer Job Search Tips

Summer jobs

The summer season is quickly approaching and especially employers in the Food and Hospitality sectors are looking to hire. The busy summer season has traditionally been a great time to make some extra income and to network. You can improve your chances of landing that serving, food preparation, cooking or market sales job by taking a few courses in:

  • FOODSAFE Level 1 (a food handling, sanitation and work safety course designed for front line food service workers such as cooks, servers, bussers, dishwashers, and deli workers.  The course covers important food safety and worker safety information including foodborne illness, receiving and storing food, preparing food, serving food, cleaning and sanitizing);
  • FOODSAFE Level 2 (designed for foodservice owners, managers, kitchen managers, executive chefs, and others who are responsible for managing food safety in foodservice establishments);
  •  MarketSafe (a food safety training program for farmers and producers who make, bake or grow products to sell at local farmers’ markets, farm gates or other types of temporary food markets)  and
  • Serving It Right  (a mandatory self-study course that educates licensees, managers and servers about their legal responsibilities when serving alcohol, and provides effective techniques to prevent problems related to over-service; must be 19+).

You can get your FOODSAFE certification in several ways. Classes are taught in Powell River (call us for the details), online in ‘virtual’ classes through Open School BC, or by correspondence (Level 1 only) through Go2.

A great resource for summer job search inspiration is Powell River’s Tourism Office (#111, 4871 Joyce Avenue, at Crossroads Village Mall, next to Quality Foods) and their website, Discover Powell River. Pick up brochures to gather contact information and scan their website for ideas of places you could work.  The Powell River Peak also publishes a free magazine “Discover Powell River”, which can be picked up for free around town or by downloading it off The Peak newspaper’s website. The website and magazine list current restaurants, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, tour operators, outdoor activity coordinators in and around Powell River, who could be looking to hire right now, or soon. Our Career Link job board is simply bursting with summer jobs that range from summer school teachers, to cooks, bartenders, servers, cleaners, and more. Drop by and see us at our offices on Marine (#103, 4511 Marine Ave) Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or phone us to make an appointment with our Employment Counsellors 604.485.7958 to find out more about networking and accessing the hidden job market.

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