Northeast B.C. had 35,400 people employed in March, a decrease of 800 jobs compared to February, according to recent labour force data.

For the fourth month in a row, the unemployment rate was too low to report.

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.”

The reported labour force for the region sat at 36,700, meaning there were approximately 1,300 unemployed with a 66.1 per cent participation rate.

Over the last year, the rate has been too low to report in Northeast B.C.  five times: July 2021, December 2021, January 2022, February 2022 and March 2022.

The unemployment rate for B.C. fell 0.2 per cent to 5.3 per cent, which is the lowest on record since data became available in 1976.

Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, claims the province created 10,500 new jobs in March, building on the 100,000 jobs created last year.

According to the province, 94,500 more people are currently working in B.C. than before the pandemic, which according to Kahlon, is the highest job recovery rate in Canada at 103.6 per cent.

“Our government has been determined to grow good-paying jobs in our private sector – both with unprecedented supports to get through the pandemic and new investments to grow jobs and opportunity as we recover,” said Kahlon.

Today, we are leading Canada in private-sector job recovery, with 82,700 more people working in the private sector than before the pandemic, complementing the tens of thousands of new health-care workers and other public-sector workers delivering the services people in B.C. count on,” he said in a release.

Nationally, the jobless rate dropped from 5.5 per cent to 5.3 per cent in March.