THE JOBLESS picture in northwestern BC improved slightly from November to December, reports Statistics Canada.
December 2012’s jobless rate was 8.2 per cent, slightly better than November’s 8.5 per cent.
All key indicators were improved from December over November as well.
The number of people who declared themselves part of the labour force whether they were working or not increased to 42,700 in December compared to 42,400 in November and the number of people working stood at 39,200, more than November’s 38,800.
The number of unemployed dropped from 3,600 in November to 3,500 in December.
Although the employment picture has improved month over month, the northwest’s 8.2 per cent jobless rate remains the highest in the province with the Kootenays placing second at 7 per cent.
And in percentage terms, December 2012’s rate in the northwest is better than December 2011’s rate of 9.8 per cent.
But back in December 2011, the labour force was higher at 48,000 people and the number of people actually working was higher as well at 43,200.
In British Columbia, employment was little changed in December and the unemployment rate declined 0.3 percentage points to 6.5 per cent, indicates Statistics Canada.
Compared with 12 months earlier, employment was little changed, the federal agency added.
Nationally, employment rose by 40,000 in December, the fourth increase in five months. December’s increase was all in full-time work.
The unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 7.1 per cent, the lowest in four years.
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 rate can reflect how people feel about their own employment prospects.