Job competition getting stiffer in B.C.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark releases her provincial jobs plan during the Vancouver Board of Trade meeting in Vancouver, BC. Sept. 22, 2011. (PHOTO CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS FILE PHOTO)
New employment numbers from Statistics Canada show British Columbia has more people competing for open jobs compared to last year.
The number of unemployed compared to job vacancies increased from 4.8 to 5.6 from 2012 to 2013.
That means for every job opening there are 5.6 people available to fill it.
BC NDP Labour Critic Harry Bains said the numbers draw the provincial jobs plan into question once again.
“It just shows that the government’s so-called job plan is not working,” Bains said.
He said use of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, used more per capita by B.C. than any other province, is part of the reason for the numbers and said the economy isn’t diverse enough.
“This government is putting all its eggs in one basket, which is LNG,” Bains said. “They’re gearing more towards temporary foreign workers coming to take those jobs.”
Bains said the government hasn’t provided adequate training to prepare local workers for liquefied natural gas jobs and pointed to the province’s search for a company to streamline the credentials of foreign workers to fill the jobs.
But provincial Labour Minister Shirley Bond said the province has put money into skills training and argued the job figures are complex.
Bond said the province has always relied on immigration to fill jobs and said employers who want to use a TFW need to prove a Canadian couldn’t be found.
But Bains said a TFW is not treated as an immigrant, but should be if they are indeed required to fill a job.