THE REGIONAL jobless rate rose in March compared to February but the overall employment picture remains healthier than this time last year.
By percentages, the jobless rate rose to 9.1 per cent in March compared to 8.8 per cent in February, reflecting a drop in the number of employed people from 41,300 in February to 41,000 in March.
But the March employment figure is higher than March 2010 when 38,500 people were working and the jobless rate was 11.5 per cent.
And the number of people considered unemployed did drop from March 2010’s 5,000 to 4,100 in March 2011.
All told 45,100 people considered themselves part of the workforce in March whether they were employed or not, a decrease from 45,300 in February.
These statistics are derived from interviews by Statistics Canada of people over the age of 15 who consider themselves part of the workforce whether they are working or not and apply to the area from the North Coast west to just this side of Vanderhoof. They are not taken from Employment Insurance figures.
The provincial jobless rate in March was 8.7 per cent.
The northwest’s jobless rate of 9.1 per cent matched that of Vancouver Island and was better than the 9.3 per cent in the Thompson-Okanagan and the 9.4 per cent in the Kootenays.
The jobless rate in the northeast was 8.1 per cent in the northeast, 7.6 per cent in the Cariboo and 8.5 per cent in the Lower Mainland.