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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. –  Northeast B.C. unemployment in December couldn’t be reported due to being too low, according to recent labour force data.

In December, 37,800 were employed, an increase of 500 jobs from November. There were 37,300 people employed in November, and a 4.1 per cent unemployment rate was reported.

According to Statistics Canada, last month’s unemployment data were “suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.”

The act states that data below 1,500 unemployed people are suppressed “to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data. Consequently, geographic areas whose population is below a certain threshold are not published.”

July was the last and only time last year that data was suppressed.

Last year, there were 40,400 employed in December, and the region had a 4.3 per cent unemployment rate.

Northeast employment rates in 2021:

B.C.’s unemployment rate fell to 5.3 per cent compared to 5.6 per cent in November.

On Friday, Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, stated December’s labour force survey, stating the province added over 100,000 jobs in 2021.

“The 101,000 jobs added in B.C. for the year marks a 3.9 per cent increase compared to 2020 job numbers, with 84,000 of these jobs being full-time jobs. In December 2021 alone, B.C. added 25,000 full-time jobs.”

“With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 5.3 per cent, B.C.’s strong job numbers over the past year solidify our province as a leader in the ongoing pandemic recovery – even as people and businesses have felt the impacts of extreme weather events and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Kahlon says employment is 102.1% above pre-pandemic levels and is among the highest in Canada, with 56,000 more people employed in B.C. today compared to before the pandemic.

Nationally, the jobless rate dropped 0.1 percentage point to 5.9 per cent.

There were more people working full-time in December, particularly core-aged men aged 25 to 54, according to Stats Can.

Most of the employment growth was in Ontario. Nationally, gains were driven by the construction and educational services industries.

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