Northeast B.C. unemployment at 5.1% to end 2019

Unemployment in Northeast B.C. dropped nearly a percentage point in December, down to 5.1% to end 2019.

There were 39,000 employed and 2,100 unemployed in region, according to the latest estimates released by Statistics Canada on Friday, Jan. 10. Unemployment in the region was recorded at 6% in November, with 2,500 unemployed.

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Year-over-year, however, the unemployment rate is up from 4.7% at the end of 2018, when 40,300 were working and 2,000 were unemployed.

The region saw a wide swing in monthly unemployment throughout 2019 — from a high of 9% in April to a low of 4.9% in July.

The region’s unemployment was slightly higher than the provincial average of 4.7% in December. The North Coast and Nechako region recorded the lowest unemployment at 3.9%, while the Cariboo recorded the highest at 6.8% 

“In 2019, employment in British Columbia was little changed in the 12 months to December 2019, following four consecutive years of gains,” Statistics Canada reported. 

The provincial unemployment rate increased 0.4 percentage points to 4.8%, but remained the lowest among the provinces, the agency said.

The Canadian economy added 35,200 jobs in December, fuelled by a gain in full-time jobs, to post the first monthly increase in jobs since September. 

The national unemployment rate fell to 5.6% for the final month of the year, compared with a rate of 5.9% in November when the country lost 71,200 jobs, the biggest monthly loss of jobs since the financial crisis. 

The federal agency's monthly labour force survey said the increase in the number of jobs in December came as full-time employment rose by 38,400 jobs. The number of part-time jobs fell by 3,200.

The goods-producing sector added 15,700 jobs, helped by a gain of 17,000 jobs in the construction industry, with British Columbia and Ontario contributing the most to the rise, Statistics Canada reported.

Meanwhile, employment in manufacturing declined in both Ontario and British Columbia, while employment in natural resources declined in five provinces, most notably Alberta and British Columbia, the agency said.

BC Stats has yet to release a detailed, sector by sector analysis of provincial job numbers for December.

Month to month

Northeast B.C. 2019 unemployment rates at a glance:

January - 5.5%

February - 6%

March - 7.8%

April - 9%

May - 8.3%

June - 6.6%

July - 4.9%

August - 5.5%

September - 6.2%

October - 6.2%

November - 6%

December - 5.1%

— with files from the Canadian Press

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at

© Copyright Alaska Highway News


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