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Northeast B.C. unemployment too low to report in November

B.C. shed 13,700 jobs in November, with construction taking the biggest hit
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B.C.'s construction sector lost 9,200 jobs in November as the central bank puts pressure on the housing market with hikes its key rate, resulting in significantly higher mortgage rates across the country and a significant decline in home sales in the province. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Unemployment in Northeast B.C. was too low to report for a third straight month in November, and for the sixth time this year.

Statistics Canada withheld unemployment data in its latest labour force survey released Friday, citing confidentiality.

Unemployment was also too low to report in September and October, and during the first three months of 2022.

According to Stats-Can, there were 37,200 people working in the region in November, down 800 jobs from October.

Stats-Can says it suppresses estimates below 1,500 unemployed people to prevent “direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data" under the requirements of the Statistics Act.

With an estimated labour force of 38,000 last month, however, there were about 800 people unemployed.

A year ago in November 2021, there were 37,300 people employed and 1,600 unemployed, with a regional unemployment rate of 4.1%

Among all economic regions of B.C., the northeast has the highest overall employment rate, at 66.9% last month, and labour participation rate, at 68.3%.

2022 Northeast B.C. unemployment:

B.C. shed 13,700 jobs in November, with construction taking the biggest hit.

The province’s unemployment rate, meanwhile, climbed 0.2 percentage points to 4.4%.

B.C. was not able to keep up with momentum in the labour market after adding about 43,000 jobs in September and October combined. Instead, the construction sector lost 9,200 jobs last month as the central bank put pressure on the housing market by hiking its key rate by half a percentage point on Oct. 26.

The Bank of Canada has hiked its key rate from 0.25 per cent to 3.75 per cent since the start of the year, resulting in significantly higher mortgage rates across the country and a significant decline in home sales in B.C.

The province also saw notable losses in the health care and social assistance category (-8,600 jobs) as well as in the tech sector (-5,500 jobs).

Gains were made in education (+4,300 jobs) and the finance, insurance and real estate category (+4,200 jobs).

B.C.’s losses come as Canada as a whole added 10,000 jobs to the broader labour force as the unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 5.1%.

Unemployment in B.C., November 2022

  • Northeast B.C. - x
  • Vancouver Island & Coast - 3.1
  • Kootenay - 3.9
  • Lower Mainland-Southwest - 4.1
  • Cariboo - 4.2
  • Thompson-Okanagan - 4.5
  • North Coast & Nechako - 5.0

— with files from Tyler Orton/Business in Vancouver

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