Skip to content

Northeast unemployment rate drops back down 5.5 per cent

The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. has dipped back down to 5.5 per cent for the month of August, according to the latest data from BC Stats released Friday.
chart
Unemployment in Northeast B.C. is back down to 5.5 per cent, bucking a five-month rising trend.

The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. has dipped back down to 5.5 per cent for the month of August, according to the latest data from BC Stats released Friday.

This reverses a five-month trend of rising unemployment in the region, which has been going up steadily since March from 4.2 in that month to 6.4 in July.

Before that, the rate was so low that it could not be released due to what the agency called its “confidentiality threshold” — the point at which the number of unemployed is fewer that 1,500 people. 

BC Stats doesn’t release information on unemployed persons when the rate is that low to prevent “direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data,” according to its website.

Unemployment in the Northeast was at its highest in April 2014, when the rate was 8.4 per cent. 

The North Coast and Nechako region also saw a slight dip in the most recent Labour Force Survey, dropping from 8.2 per cent in July to 8.0 per cent in August. 

For the second month in a row, the Kootenay region has the highest rate of unemployment in the province, posting a 9.1 per cent in July, rising to 9.4 per cent in August.

The Cariboo region also saw a slight decline from 7.9 per cent to 7.8 per cent.

At 5.5 percent, the Northeast holds the second lowest unemployment rate in the province, next to the Thompson-Okanagan region, which measured in at 5.1 per cent.

Overall, the province’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 6.0 per cent, one full percentage point below the national unemployment rate of 7.0 per cent, which is up 0.2 per cent from July.

Saskatchewan still has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, at 4.7 per cent, seasonally adjusted.

Newfoundland had the highest rate at 11.5 percent.

Canada added 12,000 jobs in August, a sign that the country's economy is beginning to pick up following a sluggish start to the year.

The rate of unemployment represents the number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the labour force. 

The labour force is made up of those members of the civilian non-institutional population 15 years of age and over who, during the time of the survey, were either employed or unemployed. 

The Labour Force Survey is a household survey carried out monthly by Statistics Canada. It divides the working-age population into three mutually exclusive classification — employed, unemployed and not in the labour force.

Persons who are neither currently employed nor seeking employment are not included in the labour force statistics.

dcreporter@dcdn.ca