Canada’s unemployment rate is down, and BC is leading the trend.
Statistics Canada says the national rate dropped to 6.9 per cent in March, from 7.0 per cent the month before.
BC saw its rate drop from 6.4 per cent in February to 5.8 per cent in March thanks to more than 18-thousand net new jobs.
The jobs numbers follow Premier Christy Clark’s announcement of a plan to get British Columbians working in the Liquified Natural Gas sector. She also says although it would be a last resort, temporary foreign workers may have to be part of the mix.
Speaking recently at the Sunshine Coast Regional District, Marian Ngo of Woodfibre LNG, which is setting up at a former pulp mill site on Howe Sound, explained they’re turning to foreign expertise for a lot of the engineering and design, but they expect to hire most workers within BC.
Ngo says one thing the company has already found is that there is a skilled worker base from coastal BC that’s had to move away for jobs, and would be eager to return. She also says being close to the Lower Mainland, and its universities and colleges, means the company could play a big role in training.
Woodfibre LNG already has an export license. It’s now waiting for environmental and other approvals, including the OK for Fortis to expand the gas line serving the site.