Saturday, March 14, 2009

Nanaimo Unemployment Rates Feb. '09

Nanaimo Unemployment Rates
Well Below National Average

With the loss of another 83,000 jobs in Canada in February the national unemployment rate rose to 7.7%.

While Nanaimo's unemployment rate rose by .7% to 5.4% it is still well below the national average and in fact is below the average for both the province and the rest of Vancouver Island.

While some other areas of the country are being hit hard by the collapsing auto market and other manufacturing jobs, Nanaimo has never had these types of jobs as it's base. There is no single employer (including forestry) which would see a thousand people out of work all at once, such as is the case with places dependent on the auto industry.

Nanaimo has several 'bullet proof' employers who are likely to be the last to feel the crunch of the current economic troubles. They include B.C. Ferries, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo Regional Hospital, VIHA, School Distric 68, RDN, City of Nanaimo and the Pacific Biological Station.

In addition to these employers there is the very large retail and service sector in Nanaimo, which does not only rely on the Nanaimo population but is the main shopping center for the Island from Ladysmith north. This gives Nanaimo a trading population of well over 300,00 who come to Nanaimo to shop.

While it would be helped with more accommodation in the downtown core, the Conference Center should prove to be a asset to the further diversification of the Nanaimo employment base.

In spite of all the doom and gloom filling the media lately, and the definite pain being felt elsewhere, it could very well be that Nanaimo is well positioned to weather the storm with a minimum of pain.


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