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.

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