Northeast B.C. unemployment rate nearing 6 per cent

The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. took a leap of more than a percentage point to nearly six per cent in May, according to a new report from BC Stats.

According to the agency, the unemployment rate for this corner of the province hit 5.9 per cent last month, up sharply from 4.7 per cent posted for April. Some 40,100 people were employed through the northeast, down from 40,400 in April.

It’s the third straight month unemployment has risen in the region. The unemployment rate sat at just 4.2 per cent in March, with 41,100 people reported as working.

BC Stats gleaned its information from Statistic Canada’s most recent monthly Labour Force Survey, released June 5.

According to that survey, overall unemployment in B.C. took a small dip, down from 6.3 to 6.1 per cent for May. Stats Canada says employment increased by 31,000 in the province last month, most of which was part-time work.

Kelowna appears to be sitting with the lowest unemployment in the province at 4.7 per cent.

The Cariboo region posted the highest unemployment figures for May, according the survey, sitting at 7.7 per cent for the month, another sharp increase from 6.7 per cent posted for the region in April.

Across the nation, employment increased by 59,000 in May, according to Stats Canada. That was largely driven by gains in the private sector. Canada’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.8 per cent for May, according to the agency.

Employment also rose in Ontario and Nova Scotia, while employment dropped in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Manitoba, according to the agency.

Alberta and Quebec saw very little change in employment, the agency reported.

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