Thursday, August 16, 2012

Northwest continues to lead province in unemployment

While we are reminded frequently that the glimmer of better days is on the horizon, the current situation when it comes to jobs and employment across the Northwest would seem to still be a work in progress.

The monthly unemployment statistics were released last week and once again, as we have for many months now, the Northwest remains a little behind the curve when it comes to job opportunities and employment.

The reported unemployment rate for the North Coast and Nechako region was 11.9 per cent in July, an increase of 4 percent from last July.  That is significantly higher than the provincial unemployment rate which is 6.9 percent. The Northwest is the only region of the province with double digit unemployment.

The rates as compiled by Statistics Canada do not include those that are currently on Employment Insurance, nor those that have exhausted those benefits or have withdrawn from the job search completely.

The spike in the numbers from the area of Vanderhoof west could have many reasons and is on the radar of the Liberal government, though according to an interview in the Northern View Pat Bell the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation the trouble areas don't include Terrace, Kitimat or Prince Rupert.

Minister Bell seemingly is using anecdotal observations to come to that conclusion, pointing to Port development in Prince Rupert and the ongoing projects in Kitimat to reinforce his points. The numbers provide for a worrisome trend, one worth watching heading into the fall and winter where unemployment numbers tend to increase on the North coast.

Northern View-- Job Stats raise question of priorities
Vancouver Province-- BC lost 15,000 jobs in July as Canadian unemployment rate rises
Vancouver Sun-- B. C. hit by sharp employment decline in July: Statistics Canada
Opinion 250-- Unemployment holds steady in P. G.

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