Region's jobless rate up for second straight month

The national average in May was 5.8 per cent for the fourth consecutive month, while the unemployment rate in Vancouver was 4.1 per cent, the same it was in April.

Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic said the wage growth suggests a strong labour market in Canada and an economy running near potential.

The average wage per hour - main rate, which is closely following the Bank of Canada increased by 3.9% compared to the same period past year, the largest annual increase in this indicator since April 2009.

The Bank of Canada laid the groundwork last week for more interest-rate hikes, bolstering expectations the central bank will move as early as its next meeting in July. That's when the city had the highest jobless numbers in the country with a rate of 8.8 per cent.

In may, the canadian labour market lost 7 500 jobs - a reduction in the number of vacancies full-time employment only partially offset by an increase in the number of those who assume part-time employment. On a sector basis, goods-producing industries led the way down, with a decline of 18,300 manufacturing jobs and a drop of 13,000 in construction.

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The agency goes on to say that employment for men and women in the core working ages of 25 to 54 both fell by about 19,000 in May.

Elsewhere the gainers in May were: Professional services (up 3,500 jobs compared to April), transportation & warehousing (up 2,100), business services (a gain of 2,100) and construction (up 1,900).

In accommodation and food services, employment rose by 18,000 in May, driven by growth in British Columbia. Statistics Canada says there was virtually no change in the number of people working in Ontario.

The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. jumped 1.6 percent in the last month to reach 7.9 percent in May.

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