Northeast B.C. unemployment at 5.5% to start 2019

The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. edged up to 5.5% in the first month of 2019.

There were an estimated 39,900 people employed in the region in a labour force of 42,100, according to the latest Statistics Canada labour force survey released Friday, February 8. There were 2,300 unemployed.

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Year-over-year, the unemployment rate is up from January 2018 when it sat at 3.8%, and when 37,700 people were reported to be employed in a labour force of 39,200.

The region finished 2018 with a 4.7% unemployment rate in December, when 40,300 were employed.

Canada saw 66,800 net new jobs in January, fuelled by a hiring surge in the private sector. More people also searched for work last month, which pushed the national unemployment rate to 5.8%, up from its 43-year low of 5.6% in December.

B.C. is continuing its rally of monthly job gains, adding another 8,700 positions in January.

But as more people entered the workforce last month the province’s unemployment rate edged up 0.3 percentage points to 4.7% between December and January.

According to BC Stats, the province saw job gains in agriculture, up 1,100 jobs, and utilities, up 500 jobs. Employment in the accommodations and food services sector grew by 5,600 jobs, and transport and warehousing employment grew by 6,400 jobs.

The province saw job losses in fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas, down 4,800 jobs, and in manufacturing, down 3,500 jobs.

Alberta, hit hard by the oil-price decline, shed jobs for a second-straight month and saw its jobless rate rise to 6.8 per cent, up from 6.4 per cent.

Unemployment rates in B.C.

Cariboo - 5.9

Northeast - 5.5

Thompson-Okanagan - 5.0

Lower Mainland Southwest - 4.7

North Coast and Nechako - 4.1

Vancouver Island and Coast - 3.8

Kootenay - 3.1

— with files from the Canadian Press, Business in Vancouver

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at

© Copyright Alaska Highway News


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