Kelowna’s unemployment rate continues to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Statistics Canada, Kelowna’s employment dropped last month due to the pandemic and the city’s unemployment rate moved to 9.6 per cent after increasing to 8.1 per cent in April — a significant shift away from the normal average of 4 per cent. These stats indicate that more than 10,000 people were unemployed in Kelowna last month.
Kelowna census metropolitan area, from Lake Country to West Kelowna, lost roughly 1,400 jobs between April and May after dropping 5,300 the month before and losing 2,000 between February and March. The total number of unemployed people in the area has now topped 10,000 people.
The Thompson Okanagan region’s unemployment rate increased slightly in May, increasing from 9 per cent to 9.5 per cent. Overall, the labour force in the region dropped by fewer than 1,000 people when part-time employment is included.