Northwest labour force declining, Stats Canada figures show

Fewer people are working in the region now than the same period in 2013, indicates the latest information from Statistics Canada.

Information for March 2014 states 36,600 people are working, a drop from 39,500 in March 2013 for the area from the North Coast to just west of Vanderhoof.

Accordingly, the labour force, which is defined as the number of people who consider themselves as part of the labour force whether working or not, has also dropped – from 42,900 in March 2013 to 39,800 in March 2014.

At the same time, the number of people who are unemployed has also declined, from 3,500 in March 2013 to 3,200 in March 2014.

The result is a March 2014 jobless rate of eight per cent compared to 8.2 per cent in March 2013.

The drop in the workforce comes at a time when province-wide, more people were working in March than the month before.

Statistics Canada reports an 18,000-person rise in the March 2014 workforce in B.C.

The Northwest's March 2014 jobless rate of 8 per cent puts it in the middle of provincial economic regions.

The highest jobless rate, surprisingly, is in the Northeast where it was 8.6 per cent in March, much higher than the 4.6 per cent recorded in March 2013.

The lowest March 2014 regional jobless rate was 6.1 per cent and that was in the Cariboo.

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