PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — The Northern Development Initiative Trust has released a new report which provides a snapshot of the state of Northern B.C.’s economy and its constituent regions.
NDIT said that it was inspired to publish the report because region-wide economic data for Northern B.C. has been difficult to find and has been published in different locations at different times. The State of the North report includes traditional economic indicator information, overviews of core economic sectors such as forestry, agriculture, mining and energy and regional profiles for the Northwest, Northeast, North Central and Cariboo-Chilcotin/Lillooet areas.
The report follows a similar model to the State of the Island report published annually by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance. According to the report, economic conditions have largely stabilized following the decline in commodity prices in 2014 that resulted in shutdowns and project delays. More recent improvements in global commodity prices are supporting increased investment in traditional sectors, notably mining and oil and gas.
•Employment levels remain stable, yet the unemployment rate in the region is higher than the BC average. While the number of business formations has declined below the region’s three-year average, the number of business bankruptcies has remained consistent suggesting that economic conditions have stabilized. The scale of businesses in Northern B.C. remains relatively small, as approximately 75 percent of business have fewer than 10 employees, while 87 percent have fewer than 20 employees.
The full report can be read below.