Northeast B.C. unemployment climbs to 6.2% in September

There were 200 fewer people working in Northeast B.C. in September, pushing the region's unemployment rate up to 6.2%.

In a labour force of 42,000, there were 39,400 employed and 2,600 unemployed, according to the latest estimates released by Statistics Canada on Friday, Oct. 11.

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Unemployment in the region was recorded at 5.5% in August, with 39,600 employed.

Year-over-year, the unemployment rate is up from September 2018, when it sat at 5.6%. But last year there were more people working in a larger labour force, with 40,100 people employed in a pool of 42,500.

Meanwhile, B.C. lost 8,400 jobs last month.

Despite the overall losses in jobs, B.C.’s unemployment rate also fell 0.2 percentage points to 4.8% as potential job-seekers left the workforce. The province’s unemployment rate now matches Quebec’s as the lowest in the country.

The biggest losses in B.C. were felt in the information, culture and recreation sectors (-15,000 jobs), while the province saw gains in transportation and warehousing (+6,100), and accommodation and food services (+3,100 jobs).

Employment was down by 2,400 jobs in the forestry, fishing, mining, and oil and gas sectors.

From a broader perspective, though, B.C. has posted gains of 33,400 jobs when September 2019 is compared with the September 2018 numbers.

Canada as a whole added 54,000 jobs last month. Much of the gains were driven by Ontario (+41,000 jobs) as the country’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 5.5%.

Unemployment rates in B.C.:

  • Cariboo - 6.8
  • Kootenay - 6.6
  • Northeast - 6.2
  • Lower Mainland Southwest - 4.9
  • North Coast and Nechako - 4.9
  • Thompson-Okanagan - 4.5
  • Vancouver Island and Coast - 4.1

With a report from Business in Vancouver.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at

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