October Labour Market Snapshot of Powell River

Career Link’s October job market report indicates the number of job postings remained virtually steady in October with 42 jobs as compared to September’s 41 jobs posted.  Taking a closer look at the September and October job postings we noted that:

  • In both months, the top 3 sectors were: Food Services, Retail Trade and Health Care.
  • Rounding out October’s top 5 sectors were postings in Construction (6) and Social Assistance (3).
  • There was a decrease in Education sector job postings after their rise in September.
  • Two employers hiring for administrative positions in the Construction and Transportation sectors reported receiving a staggering number of applicants: 40 and 60 resumes each!

And how do the year-to-date (January to October) job posting numbers compare?

  • Jan 1 2010 to Oct 31 2010 = 358 job postings
  • Jan 1 2011 to Oct 31 2011 = 477 job postings

What about those 42 clients who found jobs in October? Where are they finding work? In a variety of areas through targeted, diligent job search techniques supported by their employment counsellor.  They are telling us they are working in/at:

  • Food services – both in town and in remote camp settings as cooks
  • They also found work in our large and small grocery stores both serving food at deli counters and in customer service at the tills
  • Catalyst Paper – both in the trades (electrician and power engineer) and at the entry level
  • Maintenance jobs in both industrial and commercial settings
  • Some clients are starting out with part-time or casual hours in a local real estate firm and at one of the local banks
  • In the Forestry sector – both logging and silviculture work was reported

Regionally, the Vancouver Island/Coast unemployment rate for October was 6.9%  just above the BC average of 6.6% (source: BC Stats Labour Force Statistics October 2011).

Looking ahead to jobs in November and December – we suggest looking in Retail and Food Services.  You could broaden your search beyond “main street” to include businesses that offer catering and personal services such as cleaning and caregiving at this busy time of year.  And if the job market is tight in your chosen area consider this a good time for volunteering and networking – think of all those holiday events as a chance to spread goodwill and keep your spirits up.

For the latest Powell River job news, keep in touch with us.  Read our tweets, follow us on Facebook, comment on this blog, send us an email, give us a call, visit our website, and of course stop by our office (#103, 4511 Marine Ave. Powell River, BC).

BC’s Shipbuilding Industry: Plenty of Jobs on Deck

Shipbuilding Revival

The Shipbuilding and Repair industry and their training institutions are preparing for increased activity on BC’s Coast.  North Vancouver’s Seaspan Marine, owner of Victoria and Vancouver Shipyards, was recently awarded an $8 billion shipbuilding contract for approximately 50 non-combat vessels for the Department of National Defence and the Coast Guard over the next thirty years… read more.

A few highlights to get you up to speed.  Note the dates; there’s time to complete training for work in this exciting new era of shipbuilding….read more.

  • The first ship built will likely be a fisheries research ship, with work beginning late in 2012 or early 2013.
  • The first seven large ships will be built over eight years with materials and equipment purchased from suppliers across the country.
  • 80% of construction work will be performed in Vancouver; the remainder in Esquimalt at Victoria Shipyards.
  • Before construction starts on ships, Seaspan will spend about $160 million on their infrastructure at its Vancouver facilities and another $30 million at its Victoria Shipyards in Esquimalt.
  • Seaspan’s contract is expected to create 4,000 direct and indirect jobs.
  • Closer to home, we could see some jobs at Nanaimo Shipyard Group
    and Port Alberni at Alberni Engineering Ltd.

Inexperienced but want to catch the wave in Shipbuilding? Good news! The industry has prioritized entry-level training programs in this field and the government has obliged with financial support.  Start exploring career options and researching the key employers in the industry at the “Resource Trades Rock” website here .

A number of players from industry, education and government are working together to make sure the right people with the right skills are ready to work and sustain this long-term period of activity.  Career Link is going to keep our eye on the following for job and training news in Shipbuilding and Repair:

  • The Resource Training Organization (RTO)  –  oversees Apprenticeship training specifically for the resource sector; watch for their links to shipbuilding news.
  • Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre (IMTARC) – new training centre opening soon in Esquimalt for entry-level skills. Curriculum still under development but training could start in early or mid 2012.
  • Industrial Training Authority (ITA) – there are two new shipbuilding-specific trades programs soon to be approved by the ITA: Marine Fitter and Shipwright. Training will start in 2012.
  • Unions such as the Marine Workers and Boilermakers Union.
  • News from Training Schools in BC – look for revamped courses in 2012.
  • The BC Government –  Ministry of Jobs Tourism and Innovation.
  • New Shipbuilding Workforce Table – details in this press release; look for future announcements from this table of industry leaders.
  • Seaspan’s website – check out their Careers section.

To explore your fit with this industry and how to jump in, meet with a Career Link employment counsellor.  It’s easy to book an appointment online or call us at 604.485.7958

The 411 on BC’s Minimum Wage Increase

Dollars and Cents

We’re thinking BC workers may have started their November a little brighter with the knowledge that our general minimum wage increased on November 1st to $9.50 per hour.  The wage will increase again on May 1, 2012 to $10.25 per hour, just in time for the spring jumpstart of seasonal jobs.

BC’s minimum wage now beats Alberta’s $9.40 and Yukon’s $9 an hour. The raise matches BC with Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.  Newfoundland, Northwest Territories and Nova Scotia currently pay a minimum wage of $10 an hour, while Nunavut pays $11.

We will tie with Ontario for the second highest minimum wage in the country at $10.25, when it jumps another 75 cents in May 2012.

So, how much more money does November’s extra 75 cents put into minimum wage earners’ pockets? Based on working a total of 40 hours per week the following calculation applies to the increase in gross earnings:

$0 .75 x 40 hrs. = $30.00/wk. = $129.00/mo. = $1548.00/yr. more

The non-hourly rates paid to camp leaders, live-in home support workers and resident caretakers will be adjusted at the same time in proportion to the increase in minimum wage. The minimum wage amount therefore depends on the type of position you hold.

Liquor servers:
November 1, 2011 – $8.75 per hour
May 1, 2012 – $9.00 per hour

Live-in home support workers:
November 1, 2011 – $95.00 per day or part day worked
May 1, 2012 – $102.50 per day or part day worked

Live-in camp leaders:
November 1, 2011 – $76 for each day or part day worked
May 1, 2012 – $82 for each day or part day worked

Resident Caretakers
November 1, 2011 – for an apartment building containing 9 to 60 suites, $570 per month plus $22.85 for each suite; and for an apartment building containing more than 60 suites, $1941.56 per month
May 1, 2012 – for an apartment building containing 9 to 60 suites, $615 per month plus $24.65 for each suite; and for an apartment building containing more than 60 suites, $2,094.84 per month.

How did the minimum wage increase affect you? Let us know by commenting on this post!  At Career Link we have more information on current wages in BC and Canada for specific industries or regions.  Drop by and inquire or make an appointment to further explore, we would be pleased to see you.

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