The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia says Vancouver Island’s unemployment rate hit 10.3 per cent during the Summer of 2020.

That’s more than six percent higher than the same time last year.

The chartered accountants association says it was difficult to watch the Island’s long-run of low unemployment rates “flip so suddenly.”

However, the organization says it was not surprising given the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outside of Greater Victoria, summer employment was down by around 8000 jobs over the summer compared to last year.

But that was an improvement over the spring of this year when employment was down by roughly 30,000 jobs.

September was the fourth consecutive month to record job gains on the Island, bringing employment levels closer to pre-pandemic levels.

However, the unemployment rate remained at 9.3 per cent.

The goods sector continues to bear the brunt of the pandemic’s impact.

Though it employed nearly 41-thousand in September, that was down 3,600 positions over last year for a decline of 8.1 per cent.

The hardest-hit industries were construction and manufacturing, where the workforce in both declined over a fifth compared to last year.

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC says while the Island survived the COVID pandemic considerably better than the Lower Mainland, it’s not immune to the economic impact.