Seasonal shift in jobs in the north

The number of people working in the northwest dropped from August to September, reflecting a seasonal shift in job availability

The number of people working in the northwest dropped from August to September, reflecting a seasonal shift in job availability, indicate figures from Statistics Canada.

But the number of people who listed themselves as unemployed yet still considered themselves as part of the labour force stayed the same at 3,600.

There is just a slight increase in the unemployment rate from 7.5 per cent in August to 7.8 per cent in September.

All told, there were 42,800 people working in September, fewer than the 44,500 in August but on par with the 43,000 who were working in September 2015 when the unemployment rate was 7.7 per cent.

The number of people who removed themselves from the labour force stood at 20,700 in September, more than the 19,900 in September last year and more than the 18,900 of this past August.

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.

The national unemployment rate for September was 7.1 per cent, the same as it was for August.

And the provincial unemployment rate in September was 5.8 per cent, the same as it was in August.

The Lower Mainland had the lowest unemployment of all the regions in the province at 5.3 per cent followed closely by Vancouver Island at 5.4 per cent.

Northeastern B.C. had the highest unemployment rate at 9.4 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.