Employment rises here

THE EMPLOYMENT picture in the northwest  continues to improve with a regional jobless rate of 7 per cent in June compared to 8 per cent in May.

The June rate is markedly better than June 2010’s 11.9 per cent while May’s is better than May 2010 when the rate was 12.8 per cent.

These are not Employment Insurance figures but are taken from Statistics Canada interviews of people older than 15 years of age from Vanderhoof to the North Coast.

June 2011’s labour force total is listed at 47,400 people with 44,100 working and 3,300 saying they are unemployed.

That’s an improvement from the 44,700 total labour force calculated in June 2010 with 39,400  being employed and 5,300 people saying they are out of work.

June’s jobless total was less than the province’s 7.4 per cent as a whole and only the oil and gas-rich northeast section of the province had a better rate at 4 per cent.

That’s a much different story than in recent years when the northwest routinely topped the list as having the worst regional jobless rate, often in the 13-14 per cent range.

With this jobless rate improvement comes a decrease in the number of people collecting Employment Insurance.

Statistics Canada information for May 2011 indicates that 450 people in Terrace are collecting Employment Insurance, a 140-person drop from the 590 who were collecting in May 2010.

The pattern is repeated in Kitimat, although the drop in Employment Insurance claimants there was more modest. From 200 people in Kitimat collecting Employment Insurance in May 2010, the figure is now 170, a dip of 30 people.

Prince Rupert’s total also went down and in a similar fashion to that of Terrace. There were 540 people collecting Employment Insurance in May 2010 and as of this May, that number dropped to 360 for a decline of 180 people.

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