Northeast B.C. unemployment drops to 4.9% in July

Employment in Northeast B.C. grew by 900 in July, pushing the region's unemployment rate down down nearly two percentage points to 4.9%.

In an estimated labour force of 41,200, there were 39,200 employed and 2,000 unemployed, according to the latest report released Friday, August 9.

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Unemployment in the region was recorded at 6.6% cent in June, with 38,300 employed.

Year-over-year, the unemployment rate is down significantly from July 2018, when it sat at 7.4%. However, last year there were more people working in a larger overall labour force, with 40,300 people employed in a pool of 43,500.

The region is hovering around the provincial average, which recorded a 4.4% unemployment rate for July.

The province lost 4,800 jobs last month. 

Most jobs lost were full-time positions — down 12,900 — while gains were made in part-time positions with 8,100 jobs added.

It’s the second consecutive month the province has experienced declines after posting 3,700 losses in June.

The prior two months the province saw gains of 10,300 jobs in May and 5,900 jobs in April.

In July, B.C. posted major gains in educational services, up 10,900 jobs month-over-month, and accommodations and food services, up 5,300. It posted minor job gains in construction, up 900, and in agriculture, up 300.

The province posted job losses in forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas, down 2,500 jobs; and manufacturing, down 4,200. It also posted losses in transportation and warehousing jobs, down 4,500; and professional, scientific, and technical services jobs, down 4,600.

Meanwhile, the national labour market witnessed losses of 24,200 jobs in July — the third time in five months the country has posted declines. 

Unemployment rates in B.C.:

  • Cariboo - 5.4

  • Northeast - 4.9

  • North Coast and Nechako - 4.8

  • Kootenay - 4.7

  • Thompson-Okanagan - 4.4

  • Lower Mainland Southwest - 4.3

  • Vancouver Island and Coast - 4.1

With a report from Business in Vancouver

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at

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