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Infoline Blog

Infoline is BC Stats’ free information bulletin. Published since 1995, it has become an essential tool for executives, managers, analysts, libraries, businesses and media. It is our most widely distributed and timely review of statistical releases and events that shape or describe the economic and social fabric of British Columbia.

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  • Issue 16-123

    Labour Productivity

    Labour productivity (real GDP per hour worked in the business sector) in British Columbia climbed 0.8% in 2015, building on a 2.8% gain in 2014.

    Canadian labour productivity inched down 0.4% in 2015, as productivity slowed in four provinces. The largest decline was seen in Alberta (-3.6%), with more modest decreases recorded in Newfoundland and Labrador (-1.4%), Saskatchewan (-1.4%) and Quebec (-1.1%). The three territories also posted significant productivity declines. In addition to B.C. (+0.8%), bolstered productivity was recorded in Manitoba (+1.3%), Ontario (+1.3%) and parts of Atlantic Canada.

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 16-122

    Employment Insurance

    The number of Employment Insurance (EI) claimants receiving regular benefits in British Columbia decreased 2.2% (seasonally adjusted) in April. All four of the province’s Census Metropolitan Areas reported declines, the largest being in Vancouver (-3.7%) and Kelowna (-3.5%). The number of recipients in B.C. has been on a downward trend since August 2015.

    At the national level, an estimated 538,410 Canadians received regular EI benefits in April, 0.9% fewer than in March. The largest decrease in the number of claimants was registered in Ontario (-2.4%), while Alberta (+1.2%) saw the most notable rise in the number of beneficiaries.

    Data ...

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  • Issue 16-121

    Retail Sales

    Retail sales in B.C. climbed 2.4% to $6.2 billion (seasonally adjusted) between March and April, more than reversing a 1.1% decline recorded in the previous month. Compared to April of last year, retail activity in the province was up even more notably (+7.9%).

    Nationally, retail sales were up slightly in April (+0.9% to $44.3 billion), partly due to a significant (+6.0%) increase at gas stations. With the exception of Manitoba (-0.9%), every province registered a boost in retail activity, the highest of which was seen in New Brunswick (+3.1%). In dollar terms, B.C.’s increase was the largest in ...

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  • Issue 16-120

    Visitor Entries

    The total number of travellers arriving in Canada via B.C. increased again (+2.8%) in April. The boost was mainly due to visits from overseas countries, which surged 12.3%. Entries from the U.S. were flat (+0.0%) in April, while the number of Canadian tourists returning from abroad slowed (-3.3%).

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 16-119

    Wholesale Sales

    Wholesalers in British Columbia gained ground in April, with sales climbing 4.4% (seasonally adjusted), more than reversing a 2.5% decline in the previous month.

    Canadian wholesale sales were relatively unchanged (+0.1%) in April, reflecting weak sales in six provinces, including Ontario (-0.5%), Alberta (-0.6%) and Quebec (-1.9%).

    Data Source: Statistics Canada

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  • Issue 16-118

    Consumer Price Index Highlights

    British Columbia’s consumer price index (CPI) climbed 1.7% (unadjusted) in May, compared to the same month of the previous year. This marks a slight decrease in the year-over-year rate of inflation since April, when it was 1.8%.

    According to Statistics Canada, the overall annual inflation rate of 1.7% declines to 1.6% when food is excluded from the index, and increases to 2.3% when energy is excluded as well.

    The overall cost of food rose by 2.5% since May of last year, with the cost of both groceries purchased from stores (+2.5%) and meals purchased from restaurants ...

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  • Issue 16-117

    Organ Donations

    In 2014, based on data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), there were 4,573 Canadians awaiting an organ transplant, including 473 in British Columbia. According to BC Transplant, as of May 2, 2016, that number for B.C. has risen to 605 patients awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant. Sadly, 300 Canadians (36 from B.C.) died in 2014 before receiving the transplant they needed. A further 362 Canadians (78 from B.C.) withdrew from the waiting list.

    To read more, download the complete report.

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  • Issue 16-116

    Quarterly Population Highlights

    (Also available in PDF; associated tables are available in Excel)

    B.C. Highlights

    The population of B.C. was estimated at 4,720,932 as of April 1, 2016, growing by 13,911 persons in the first quarter of 2016 (up 0.3% from January 1, 2016).

    Combined net in-migration from all sources (inter- provincial and international) totalled 12,493 persons during the first quarter of 2016. Broken down, net interprovincial in-migration contributed 5,067 persons to population growth while net international in- migration added 7,426 persons. Finally, a natural increase (births minus deaths) of 1,418 had a positive impact on population growth ...

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  • Issue 16-115

    Manufacturing Sales

    Sales in the province’s manufacturing sector continued to seesaw in April, registering a 1.3% (seasonally adjusted) decline, following a 3.0% boost in March. Notable increases were seen for manufacturers of primary metals (+2.0%), furniture (+8.3%), computer and electronic products (+8.3%) and several other product groupings, but overall gains were offset by declining sales in some of the larger industries, namely wood (-1.0%), paper (-2.5%) and food (-3.0%).

    Nation-wide, manufacturing sales climbed 1.0%, as six provinces saw shipments of manufactured products increase. Gains in Alberta (+3.5%) and Quebec (+1.4%) were the chief drivers of the national uptick.

    Data Source: ...

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  • Issue 16-114

    Labour Force Statistics

    B.C. Highlights

    The unemployment rate in British Columbia was 6.1% in May, up from 5.8% in April, as employment decreased by 8,400, while the labour force contracted by 1,100. Compared to May 2015, the unemployment rate remained at 6.1%, with job creation (+69,500) slightly lagging growth in the labour force (+74,700).

    On a monthly basis, the number of full-time jobs remained virtually the same (+700) in May. However, there was a decrease in part-time (-9,100) jobs. Among workers aged 25 to 54, full-time employment decreased by 12,600, while part-time jobs increased slightly by 900. With respect to ...

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