Northwest BC jobs total inching up

More people in the region were working in August compared to July

THE NUMBER of people working in the northwest increased slightly in August over July, reports Statistics Canada.

August’s figure of 41,200 employed in the area from the North Coast to just this side of Vanderhoof was 200 over July’s 41,000 total, a sign of steady economic activity in the area.

The jobless rate did, however, nudge upward to 6.2 per cent in August from 6 per cent in July, a sign that more people considered themselves part of the workforce and were seeking employment.

There were 2,700 people who listed themselves as jobless in August, just 100 more than July’s figure of 2,600 people.

August’s figures continued a trend all year in recording far better numbers than a year ago.

The August 2012 jobless rate was 11.8 per cent with 5,100 people jobless then compared to 2,700 this August and 38,100 people employed compared to 41,200 this August.

August’s numbers put the northwest solidly in the mid-range of jobs figures in the province compared to recent years when it had the worst employment figures.

The northeast, the Kootenays and the Thompson-Okanagan reported better employment numbers than the northwest but this region topped the Cariboo, the Lower Mainland and was tied with Vancouver Island.

The provincial jobless rate overall was 6.6 per cent, slightly better than July’s 6.8 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.