Northwest BC jobless rate improves a touch

September's rate of 10.5 per cent still highest in BC

THE NORTHWEST’S jobless rate dropped in September, but remains the only region in BC to have one in the double digits.

The September rate of 10.5 per cent is better than August’s 11.8 per cent, July’s 11.9 per cent and June’s 12.2 per cent for the area running from the north coast to just west of Vanderhoof.

Still, September’s rate is higher than Sept. 2011 when the jobless rate was 8.6 per cent.

The drop also meant an increase in the number of people working – 38,400 in September compared to 38,100 in August. September’s figure matched that of July’s.

In September 2011, 44,800 were working in the region.

Meanwhile, the provincial jobless rate was 6.8 per cent in September, the same percentage as in August.

Across the regions, the jobless rate for September was 5.9 per cent on Vancouver Island, 7.1 per cent on the lower mainland, 5.2 per cent in the Thompson-Okanagan, 8.8 per cent in the Kootenays, 8.2 per cent in the Cariboo and 4.4 per cent in the northeast.

The figures released today are not those of people collecting Employment Insurance.

They’re the product of Statistics Canada employees interviewing people over the age of 15 and those considering themselves part of the workforce are people with a job or who are looking for work.

People withdraw from the workforce for any number of reasons, not all of which are associated with having a job or not.

Across the country, employment increased for the second consecutive month in September, up 52,000, mainly in full-time work. The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage points to 7.4 per cent as more people participated in the labour market.