Northwest employment holds steady

Employment held steady in the northwest from July to August, indicate figures released Sept. 9 from Statistics Canada.

Employment held steady in the northwest from July to August, indicate figures released Sept. 9 from Statistics Canada.

The same number of people, 44,500, were listed as working for both months as did those who were unemployed, 3,600.

That placed the unemployment rate for the area from the North Coast to just this side of Vanderhoof at 7.5 per cent for July and August.

The jobs picture for this August was also slightly better than August 2015 when employment stood at 43,700 within a labour force of 47,500 and 3,800 were listed as unemployed for an unemployment rate of eight per cent.

The figures gathered by Statistics Canada are not taken from those collecting employment insurance but are based on interviews of people 18 years and older living from the North Coast to just this side of Vanderhoof.

Because people can declare themselves part of the labour force or not, regardless if they are working, the monthly statistics can reflect how people feel about their own employment prospects.

Those interviewed who did not consider themselves in the labour force rose slightly from July’s figure of 18,800 to 18,900 in August.

The national unemployment rate for August was 7.1 per cent, an increase over July’s 6.9 per cent.

The provincial unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent with Vancouver Island having the lowest regional rate of five per cent.

Northeastern B.C. had the highest rate, 8.6 per cent, a reflection of the struggling oil and gas industry and much different than previous years when it had the lowest regional unemployment rate in B.C.