Local area unemployment falls, but still very high

Photo Courtesy: B.C. Government Twitter

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – As suspected the positive BC jobless numbers last month did very little to brighten the economic picture in this area which continues to reel from the downturn in the oil and gas industry.

As reported at the end of last week Stats Canada numbers show BC was the lone province in the country to create a significant number of jobs last month, adding 16-thousand positions, while other provinces stayed the same or saw losses.


Doug Porter is the Bank of Montreal, Chief Economist, but what he and others are saying about BC does not extend into the Northeast Region, and it hasn’t all year.

While province wide unemployment fell to five point nine per cent last month from six point one in May, the drop of point four percent here in the Northeast still left the jobless rate above nine percent for the fifth consecutive month.

BC Stats confirms, at 9.2%, it was still more than a full percentage point higher than any of the other six regions in the province, with the North Coast and Nechako next highest at 8.1%.

The average monthly rate for the first half of 2016 is also nine point two percent, and nearly three percent higher than the average of 6.3% for the previous six month period, in last half of last year.

Across the country, more jobs were created last month in the service sector, but those were offset by layoffs among factory workers.

In addition, although the national unemployment rate fell to 6.8% in June from six point nine in May, those numbers were skewed by fewer people looking for work, and Stats Canada reports the number working had actually dropped slightly, by about 700.

Among the provinces, BC again has the lowest rate in the country, but in Alberta, where the economy is far more reflective of what’s occurring here, the rate is now up to 7.9%, and that’s the highest provincial rate, west of Atlantic Canada.