Northwest jobless rate holds steady

SEPTEMBER'S NORTHWEST jobless rate dropped a tiny bit compared to August but so did the number of people working, indicate latest figures from Statistics Canada.

SEPTEMBER’S NORTHWEST jobless rate dropped a tiny bit compared to August but so did the number of people working, indicate latest figures from Statistics Canada.

In what is virtually an unchanged situation, the percentage jobless rate in September was 8.6 per cent, .1 per cent down from August’s 8.7 per cent.

But the number of people working dropped from 44,900 in August to 44,800 in September.

The percentages and employment numbers remain much better than in 2010 – 41,500 people were working in September of that year and the jobless rate was 10.6 per cent.

These figures cover the area from the north coast east to just west of Vanderhoof and are based on Statistics Canada interviews of people over the age of 15 who declare themselves as part of the workforce whether they have a job or not. They are not Employment Insurance figures.

The number of people who said they did not have a job in September was 4,200, down 100 from August and down 700 from September 2010.

Overall, the number of people who said they were part of the workforce in September was 49,000, a drop of 200 from August.

The northwest jobless rate of 8.6 per cent was the highest in British Columbia with the Cariboo and the Kootenays sharing second place with 8.1 per cent.

The lowest rate was 4.3 per cent and that was in the northeast thanks to the continuing demand for gas and oil products.

The Vancouver Island and Coast Region rate was 7.6 percent while it was 7.2 per cent in the Lower Mainland and 7.3 per cent in the Thompson-Okanagan.

Overall, employment in British Columbia rose by 32,000, all in full-time work, from August to September, making for the first notable employment gain since July 2010, indicates Statistics Canada.

The provincial jobless rate was 7.3 per cent in September compared to 7.6 per cent in August and 7.8 per cent in September 2010.