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Northeast B.C. unemployment too low to be reported

Statistics Canada suppresses data citing confidentiality
Construction along 100 Street in Fort St. John, July 15, 2021.

Employment in Northeast B.C. dropped by 900 jobs in July, though the unemployment rate was still too low to be reported, according to the latest Statistics Canada estimates released today.

There were 36,600 employed in the region last month, with the number of unemployed "suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act," Statistics Canada noted. 

Northeast B.C. is the only economic region in Canada to have its unemployment data suppressed. The last time unemployment was this low was in February 2020 just before the onset of the pandemic.

Statistics Canada says it suppresses estimates below 1,500 unemployed people to prevent “direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data." With a reported labour force of 37,900 in July, there are about 1,300 without jobs in the region, according to the data.

Employment in the region is down from 37,500 month-over-month from June but still higher than it was in July 2020, when 35,400 were employed and unemployment was reported at 9.5%.

Unemployment in B.C.:

  • North Coast and Nechako - 7.9

  • Lower Mainland Southwest - 7.4

  • Cariboo - 6.0

  • Kootenay - 5.8

  • Thompson-Okanagan - 5.1

  • Vancouver Island and Coast - 5.0

  • Northeast - x

B.C. as a whole lost 3,100 jobs in July, and the province’s unemployment rate remained static compared with a month earlier at 6.6%.

While full-time employment increased by 3,300 jobs, those gains were negated by the loss of 6,500 part-time positions.

Losses were mainly confined to two sectors: information/culture/recreation (-12,100 jobs) and manufacturing (-10,900 jobs).

Meanwhile, gains were made in healthcare (+7,700 jobs) and construction (+4,300 jobs).

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 7.5% in July, while Canada as a whole added 94,000 jobs.

Only Manitoba (6.1%) and Quebec (6.1%) have lower unemployment rates than B.C. 

— with files from Business in Vancouver

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at