Northeast BC workers down 500 jobs in January, unemployment rate too low to report

For the second consecutive month, Northeast B.C. unemployment was too low to report, according to recent labou…

For the second consecutive month, Northeast B.C. unemployment was too low to report, according to recent labour force data.

In January, 37,300 were employed, a decrease of 500 jobs that were added in December. There were 37,800 people employed in December. In January 2021, the region reported a 4.1 per cent unemployment rate, and 40,100 were employed.

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.”

Over the last year, the rate has been too low to report three times: July 2021, December 2021, and January 2022.

B.C. kicked off 2022 with a 5.1 per cent unemployment rate compared to 5.4 per cent in December.

On Friday, Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, says the last time the province saw the reported rate was before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“The first jobs report of 2022 continues to show the resilience of British Columbians in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic as 4,200 jobs were created in January,” said Kahlon.

“This is the lowest unemployment rate in Canada.

Kahlon says employment is 102.4% above pre-pandemic levels and is among the highest in Canada.

“In the past two years, we’ve been through some of the most challenging situations of our lifetimes, but we have made it through by leading with kindness, determination and resiliency. I want to thank all British Columbians for everything they are doing to keep each other safe and healthy. It’s because of your collective actions that I know brighter days are ahead for us all.”

Nationally, the jobless rate rose from 5.9 per cent to 6.5 per cent in January.

January employment declines were driven by Ontario and Quebec, and accommodation and food services was the hardest-hit industry, according to Stats Can.

Youth and core-aged women, who are more likely than other demographic groups to work in industries affected by the public health measures in place in January, saw the largest impacts.



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