Northwestern B.C. workforce dips in November

But so does the number of people available for work

THE number of people working dropped from October to November but so did the available workforce in the region, Statistics Canada reported today.

There were 40,000 people working in November from the north coast to just this side of Vanderhoof, a drop of 1,300 from October’s total of 41,300.

But if the working total decreased, so did those who were available for work, from 43,700 in October to 42,100 in November, a sign that seasonal employment conditions are taking hold.

The number of people who listed themselves as unemployed dropped from 2,400 in October to 2,100 in November.

The overall result for November was an unemployment rate of 5 per cent, better than October’s rate of 5.5 per cent.

November’s single-digit unemployment rate continues to reflect the overall health of the regional economy when compared to November 2012’s unemployment rate of 8.5 per cent.

And the November rate puts the northwest solidly in the middle of the pack of regional jobless rates in the province.

The northwest is behind the northeast, the Cariboo and the Kootenays but ahead of the Thompson-Okanagan, the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

The provincial rate for November was 6.3 per cent, a slight drop from October’s 6.5 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.

Across the country, employment rose in Alberta in November, giving that the province the fastest pace of year-over-year growth among the provinces.