The latest jobs figures from Statistics Canada show a spike in unemployment in B.C.

The rate jumped to 7 per cent in March, up from 6.3 per cent in February — the biggest rise in the country. B.C. lost around 22,000 jobs and gained roughly 7,000, for a net loss of more than 15,000 full-time jobs.

Vancouver's jobless rate jumped nearly half a point to 6.8 per cent while unemployment in Kelowna, Abbotsford and Victoria remained almost static between February and March.


B.C. lost more than 22,000 full-time jobs in March. (iStock)

However, B.C.'s employment figures are virtually the same as they were a year ago, and the unemployment rate overall is slightly lower than the national average.

It is, however, still far higher than the other three western provinces.

Across the country, Statistics Canada says more than 54,000 jobs vanished last month, pushing the national unemployment rate up two-tenths of a point to 7.2 per cent.

B.C. Almanac live chat

B.C. Almanac hosted a live chat on this story today. Click below to see a replay of the chat.

With files from The Canadian Press and Richard Zussman