The number of people receiving employment insurance benefits in Vancouver jumped by more than 20,000 in the past year, Statistics Canada reported yesterday.
EI beneficiaries in the Lower Mainland rose 136 per cent, up to 35,470 people in March 2009, from 15,030 a year earlier.
“The number of beneficiaries rose more in Alberta and British Columbia than the Canadian average,” said Dominique Pérusse, a senior analyst with Statistics Canada.
“In the past five months, the industries that were most affected in B.C. were construction, manufacturing and finance, insurance and real estate.”
Pérusse said the picture was slightly different in Vancouver, and the hardest-hit industries were manufacturing, transport and warehousing, and education services.
Mayor Gregor Robertson said yesterday before leaving on a trip to the United States that the city was working on an economic development strategy and was hoping to leverage the 2010 Olympics for economic opportunities.
“My trip down the coast to Seattle and Portland is part of a new approach to creating jobs and drawing investment to Vancouver,” Robertson said.
According to StatsCan’s most recent labour force survey, B.C. dropped 68,900 jobs between October and March, including 37,500 construction jobs and 19,700 manufacturing jobs.
During that period, the number of people receiving EI in B.C. rose 80.5 per cent.