Whitehorse Daily Star

Low jobless rate reigned through 2019

The Yukon’s labour force statistics showed consistently low unemployment rates for 2019, including December.

By Gabrielle Plonka on January 16, 2020

The Yukon’s labour force statistics showed consistently low unemployment rates for 2019, including December.

“(Employment is) holding pretty much the same, consistent,” Gary Brown, the senior information officer for the Yukon Bureau of Statistics, said Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December was 4.5 per cent, a full percentage lower than the rest of Canada.

There were 1,000 unemployed people in the Yukon last month, an increase of 100 compared to the previous month.

The annual unemployment rate for 2019 was 3.6 per cent.

“That’s the fourth year in a row we’ve been the lowest in Canada,” Brown said.

He noted the Yukon has seen the lowest unemployment rate in Canada for 38 of the last 39 months. The strong numbers are partially thanks to specific industry booms, Brown said.

“Construction, especially on the non-residential side, is strong, and Victoria mine is going,” Brown said.

Though the Yukon Bureau of Statistics does not traditionally forecast future numbers, Brown suggested low unemployment rates seem likely to remain consistent in the coming months.

“There’s nothing on the horizon that would suggest otherwise,” he said.

While the employment numbers are seasonally adjusted, Brown said the bureau hasn’t seen a dip in employment so substantial that the statistics needed to be drastically altered.

The current frigid temperatures are similarly unlikely to affect labour numbers, because 80 per cent of the Yukon’s workers are employed full time.

“We don’t see a lot of movement in the numbers due to weather factors like this, because it’s such a blip in the big picture,” Brown said.

“When you get a two-week period of cold, it doesn’t influence the numbers at all.”

The Yukon’s seasonally adjusted labour force in December totalled 22,200, with a decrease of 200 compared to November 2019.

The Yukon’s seasonally adjusted employment in December 2019 was 21,100.

The employment number dropped by 300, or 1.4 per cent, compared to December 2018.

The Yukon’s average year-to-date labour force for 2019 was 22,425. That number has risen incrementally each year, with a jump in 525 workers compared to 2018.

The Yukon’s year-to-date employment has similarly rose incrementally, with an increase of 308 workers compared to 2018.

The two years previous saw smaller increases of fewer than 100 workers.

Comments (10)

Up 12 Down 1

Brian on Jan 20, 2020 at 4:45 pm

Guess all the commenters forgot about all the folks who work in Summer occupations, like highways road crews, tourisim, mining, exploration, fire fighting.
Those at the Center of Hoplessness are not the Unemployed, they're the Unemployable. Different category.

Up 18 Down 8

BnR on Jan 19, 2020 at 8:00 am

Juniper, your assertion that YG doesn’t hire locally is even more ill-informed than usual.
Anonymous; you drive by the Centre of Hope and you see it’s “jam packed”. Did you do a count? What’s “jam-packed”? The article claims 1000 unemployed people in the Yukon. Were they all at the Centre of Hope? What is your point?
JC, the only people not being paid well in the private sector are the unskilled and uneducated. Trades are doing very well thanks. In a job and you’re not making much? That’s on you. One doesn’t have to work at YG to do well. You will have to work though, and that’s the difference. At YG, you can get paid decently and go on endless coffee breaks....

Up 15 Down 4

Groucho d'North on Jan 18, 2020 at 3:51 pm

For those who do want to work- there is work. In fact I know a few who have more than one regular job just so they can make ends meet and do the best for their kids.

Up 11 Down 2

Jack on Jan 17, 2020 at 11:36 pm

Are there really 3,000 TFW in the Yukon?
Do they count as resident in the population statistics and for transfer payments?

Up 18 Down 0

Roger O. Vernnout on Jan 17, 2020 at 7:08 pm

It’s always disheartening to hear someone who is an alleged expert at something speak about something they are not able to meaningfully define.

Employment states used to be a straight calculus. So many people between the age of majority and retirement - for example, 65 or 67. So maybe there is a number like 29,000,000, in Canada. Then you count the number who have full time employment, the number who have part-time employment. Let’s say the number is 22,793,011. You then divide that number by 29,000,000. You end up with something like 78.6%. Then you know that you have a 21.4% unemployment rate. From that unemployment rate you can then decide to breakdown the numbers further. For example, 9.8% are on SA, 3.6% are looking for work, 3.2% sell drugs or live off the proceeds of crime, 1.9% are on a form of disability, .5% are homeless, and the remaining 1.4% are fit the category of other.

But we don’t do this. We allow ourselves to be deceived for the purpose of pretence, for the purpose of politics, for the purpose of a generalized delusion. We have been conditioned to accept this cognitive cuckoldry at the behest of political power because we don’t really want to think about it... Lie to me and tell me everything is going to be okay... But most importantly... Lie to me!

Up 24 Down 5

Juniper Jackson on Jan 17, 2020 at 12:38 pm

Numbers can be skewed to look like anything. How many people are on welfare that we have 3,000 TFWs here? The biggest employer is, of course, YTG, and they don't hire locally. Just imports, So the better paying jobs do not go to locals. Welfare pays so good that it has become a career for many. How would our unemployment rate look if TFWs were sent home, and 3,000 welfare folks were sent out to work?

Mick: the new homeless shelter is a damn scary place to be. I don't have any street cred, I don't go to bars or places where drunks/addicts hang out..fighting and yelling at each other.. they don't all have jobs..but they do all have money for booze, listerine, drugs..I hear it's better right now.. but, better yet, if we didn't need a shelter or need to feed so many.

Up 15 Down 4

Mick on Jan 16, 2020 at 6:22 pm

Those people have jobs. They milk the system full time.

Up 21 Down 10

Employer on Jan 16, 2020 at 5:03 pm

Yukon is a great place to live and work. There will always be some unemployment and there will always be social issues and people who need a little extra help. But how lucky are we to live in a place where people who need help can get it and people who are able to work, generally have that option.

Up 33 Down 2

JC on Jan 16, 2020 at 4:06 pm

Low unemployment. But outside of the Government jobs most others are so low paid, they don't have to pay taxes. Then many if not most that have those low paid jobs have to have two or even three to survive. I think the government should tell us how many jobs are filled and how many workers are employed. But that wouldn't make the governments look so good.

Up 41 Down 9

Anonymous on Jan 16, 2020 at 2:05 pm

And yet you drive by the salvation army at 10 am on a weekday and its jam packed...

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