Unemployment rate drops below seven per cent

June employment figures for the region released today show the jobs picture continues to improve.

June employment figures for the region released today show the jobs picture continues to improve.

Statistics Canada figures indicate 40,400 people were working in the area from the North Coast to just this side of Vanderhoof in June, an increase of 700 over May.

And as the number of people working edges up, the number of unemployed has dropped – from 3,300 in May to 2,900 in June.

The combination of more people working and fewer unemployed reduced the regional jobless rate to 6.7 per cent, a full percentage point reduction from May’s 7.7 per cent.

June’s figures also show a marked improvement over last year when the jobless rate was 12.2 per cent.

And 500 more people were listed as working in June compared to June 2012.

June’s jobless rate of 6.7 per cent also places the region within range of not having the worst jobless in the province.

The lower mainland, for example, has a jobless rate of 6.6 per cent while the Thompson-Okanagan posted a jobless rate of 6.5 per cent.

The northeast continues to have the lowest jobless rate in BC, posting a 4.9 per cent figure in June.

Provincially, the jobless rate stands at 6.4 per cent.

The northwest jobless rate is not the number of people collecting Employment Insurance.

Instead it is based on interviews of people from the north coast to just this side of Vanderhoof who consider themselves as part of the workforce whether they are employed or not.

And that means the jobless rate can reflect how people feel about their own employment prospects.