Top 10 from Pat Bell – BC update

Here is Top 10 I just received from Pat Bell - MLA for Prince George North   1.  British Columbia’s jobless rate dipped to 8.1% in March 2011, down 0.7 percentage points from a month earlier.  While the change in the unemployment rate was driven by a decline in the number of job searchers (−0.6%), employment in the province also expanded (+0.2%). Private sector employment climbed by 0.7% in March, marking the first increase since November of 2010, and was the primary source of increase in the number of jobs. Meanwhile, the number of people working in the public sector fell 1.3%. The unemployment rate of youth aged 15 to 24 climbed 0.7 percentage points to 15.2%, while the jobless rate for workers aged 25 and over dipped to 6.9% (-0.9 points)   2.  The average weekly wage in B.C. in March 2011 was $827.55. For B.C. youth between the ages of 15 and 24, the average weekly wage was $385.89—third highest in Canada. (Prepared by BC Stats, Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey)   The average hourly wage in B.C. during March 2011 was $23.14 – more than 2.8 times the minimum wage, and almost 28 per cent above 2001's average wage of $17.98. For B.C. youth between the ages of 15 and 24, the average hourly wage was $13.59 – third highest in Canada. (Source: Statistics Canada)   1.  British Columbia’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 1.8% from February 2010, after a 2.3% increase in January. Consumers paid substantially more for fuel oil & other fuel (+19.1%), gasoline (+12.6%) and food purchased from restaurants (+7.8%). (Prepared by BC Stats, Source: Statistics Canada)British Columbia's annual inflation rate was 1.3% in 2010, significantly lower than the national rate of 1.8%. Lower-than-average increases in the cost of shelter and transportation helped offset higher-than-average increases in the cost of food and a few other goods and services.   2.  Total retail sales in B.C. rose 0.7% (seasonally adjusted) in February, erasing the slip at the beginning of the year (-0.5% in January). Canadian sales were also slightly higher (+0.4%), largely the result of higher volume (in volume terms, sales were up 0.4%). Quebec (-0.8%) and parts of Atlantic Canada posting losses in February.   3.  Manufacturing sales in British Columbia rose 0.9% (seasonally adjusted) in February, building on a 2.3% increase in the previous month. Despite weaker shipments by makers of paper products (−4.8%), sales of non-durables moved ahead (+0.2%) due to gains made by the beverage & tobacco (+6.2%) and food (+0.7%) product industries. Durables were up 1.6% as flagging sales by wood (−0.8%) and machinery (−1.9%) manufacturers were offset by a jump (+9.2%) in shipments by producers of primary metals.   4.  Travel from overseas locations inched ahead 0.7% in January, driven by a larger number of visitors from both Asia (+1.4%) and Europe (+1.0%). The increase in European arrivals is the first after four straight monthly declines. Entries from other overseas locations were down 1.4% in January.   5.  The population in British Columbia reached 4,554,085 as of January 1st, 2011. In the fourth quarter of 2010, population growth was at its lowest since 2006, up 1.2% compared to the same quarter in 2009.   6.  B.C.’s economy is expected grow moderately over the next year according to B.C.’s independent Economic Forecast Council. On average, the council forecasts B.C.’s GDP growth at 2.7 per cent for this year.   7.  The Dominion Bond Rating Service, Standard & Poor, and Moody's Investment Service have all reconfirmed B.C.'s strong credit rating. The most recent report from Moody's notes the Province's debt reduction efforts of the past few years have put British Columbia in a stronger position to face the economic downturn. DBRS rates B.C. AA (High); Standard & Poor, AAA; and Moody's, AAA.   8.  421,200 jobs have been added in British Columbia since December 2001, of which 323,700 are full-time positions.

Copy courtesy of:
Best regards

Dean Birks

Top Office Producer 2010

Royal LePage Prince George

Phone (Direct): 250-612-1709

Fax (Direct): 1-888-870-4132


Oh, by the way. I'm never too busy for your referrals!


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