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Northeast employment back to pre-pandemic levels after 800 jobs added in October

Employment in northeast B.C. was back to pre-pandemic levels in October, as 800 jobs were added and regional unemployment was pushed down to 5.6%.
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Employment in northeast B.C. was back to pre-pandemic levels in October, as 800 jobs were added and regional unemployment was pushed down to 5.6%.

There were 39,100 employed and 2,300 unemployed last month, according to Statistics Canada estimates released Nov. 6.

The northeast had the lowest unemployment rate in B.C. for the third-straight month, with the Cariboo region reporting the highest at 10.6%, followed by the Lower Mainland at 9.4%.

Northeast B.C. has seen 5,500 jobs return since the spring economic restart; 1,800 jobs were added in July, 1,700 were added in August, and 1,200 were added in September.

There were 39,000 employed and 1,700 unemployed in March, before pandemic-related job losses hit the region in April. At this time last year, there were 39,200 employed and 2,600 unemployed, with unemployment at 6.2% in October 2019.

Most of the the recent job gains have been in part-time work, with job losses year-over-year in full-time work and the construction and goods sectors a lingering worry for a full economic recovery in the region, analysts said last week.

Across B.C., the province led the nation in job gains last month, adding 33,500 positions in October.

Data from Stats Canada reveal bumps led by healthcare and social assistance (+8,400 jobs), manufacturing (+5,900 jobs), information, culture and recreation (+4,200 jobs) and natural resources (+3,900 jobs).

The losses that did occur in some sectors were muted in comparison.

Business, building and other support services saw 1,700 jobs lost, transportation and warehousing lost 1,400 job,  and the construction industry lost 900 jobs.

The gains helped bring the province’s unemployment rate down 0.4 percentage points to 8%.

Canada as a whole added 84,000 jobs in October, while the national unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 8.9%.

Unemployment rates in B.C.:

  • Cariboo - 10.5

  • Lower Mainland Southwest - 9.4

  • Vancouver Island and Coast - 8.3

  • Thompson-Okanagan - 8.1

  • North Coast and Nechako - 7.9

  • 
Kootenay - 7.8

  • Northeast - 5.6

— with files from Business in Vancouver

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.