More people were working in northwest B.C. in March compared to February, according to Statistics Canada. (Black Press Media File Photo)

More people were working in northwest B.C. in March compared to February, according to Statistics Canada. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Northwestern workforce grew in March compared to February

But unemployment rate remains high

More people were working in northwestern B.C. in March compared to February but the unemployment rate held steady as more people considered themselves as part of the labour force seeking employment.

Based on information supplied by Statistics Canada, employment grew from 42,800 people in February to 44,000 people in March in the area from Vanderhoof to the North Coast.

But February’s unemployment rate of 8.5 per cent was repeated in March owing to more people considering themselves as part of the labour force in seeking employment.

And compared to last March when 41,500 people were working, the overall northwestern labour force has increased over the past year as the regional economy begins to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last March 24,900 people did not consider themselves part of the labour force, a figure that dropped to 22,100 in February and declined again to 20,700 in March.

Still, this region’s unemployment rate was the highest in March within the seven economic regions of B.C. and the provincial unemployment rate for the month was 7.7 per cent. Across B.C., 35,000 jobs were added in March compared to February.

Nationally, as reported by Statistics Canada, employment rose by 303,000 for an unemployment rate of 7.5 per cent, the lowest since February 2020.

Yet there were 296,000 fewer people working across the country in March compared to the last pre-pandemic month which was February 2020.

“Much of the employment increase reflected continued recovery in industries—including retail trade and accommodation and food services—where employment had fallen in January in response to public health restrictions,” reported Statistics Canada.

“Growth in health care and social assistance, educational services, and construction also contributed to the national increase in March.”

The northwest region takes in Haida Gwaii in the west to just this side of Vanderhoof in the east and is based not on employment insurance data, but on interviews of people who consider themselves part of the labour force regardless of whether they are actually working or not.

Provincial jobs minister Ravi Kahlon welcomed the B.C. jobs increase for March, but warned that recent public health restrictions will have an impact.

“While this report is another sign our approach to an innovative, sustainable and inclusive economic recovery is working, some sectors are still struggling, and we are not out of the woods yet,” he said.

“With recent temporary public health orders necessary to address rising COVID-19 case counts, we expect those impacts will be reflected in next month’s jobs report.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jaimie Davis won received a Northwest Community College President’s Art Award in 2018. This year, she won the Best Solopreneur Award from Small Business BC for her online shop Jada Creations. (Contributed photo/Northwest Community College)
Terrace artist wins provincial small business award

Jaimie Davis of Jada Creations won BC Small Business’ Best Solopreneur Award

Chera Bergen (left) with her sisters Hali and Dylan Ouellet (not in the picture) raised money through a bottle drive in Terrace to buy essential supplies for a homeless shelter. (Binny Paul/ Terrace Standard)
Terrace sisters’ recycle drive raises money for homeless shelter

With the $1175 raised, Chera, Hali and Dylan bought essential supplies for Ksan Society

A memorial march takes place along Highway 16 also known as Canada’s ‘Highway of Tears’ on national day of awareness of Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Over five dozen people from nearby communities joined the march which began outside Terrace City Hall and ended at the memorial totem pole erected along Hwy 16, near Kitsumkalum. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)
‘City of Terrace can and should make spaces safer’: MMIWG activists

Activists called on governments to amplify safety net for women on national day of awareness of MMIWG

RCMP are reminding the public to be aware of their surroundings after a stabbing sent a man to hospital on May 4, 2021. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Terrace stabbing sends man to hospital

RCMP remind the public to be aware of surroundings

The construction site for the new Mills Memorial Hospital has been cleared. (Binny Paul/The Terrace Standard)
Bird nests key to decision to log hospital site in Terrace

Nests would have posed a risk of increasing costs

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Most Read