Northeast B.C.’s unemployment rate started 2018 below 4%

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. dropped below four percent during the first month of 2018.

According to data released by Stats Canada on Friday, the unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. sat at 3.8 percent in January, from 4.6 percent in December. The last time the region’s unemployment rate was below four percent was between September 2014 and February 2015, when the unemployment rate was too low for Stats Canada to get an accurate measurement.

The region added roughly 500 full-time jobs from December’s total, while the number of part-time jobs dropped by around 400. The rate of employment in the region increased by 0.4 percent to 66.8 percent, which is the highest rate of employment of all economic regions of B.C.

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Northeast B.C.’s unemployment rate is now a full percent lower than the provincial average and is the lowest in the province. The next-lowest unemployment in the B.C. was in the Lower Mainland, where only 4.0 percent of the labour force was without work. The highest unemployment rate  in B.C last month was recorded in the Kootenays, where 7.4 percent of the labour force lacked a job.

Compared to a year ago, the unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. is over five and a half percent lower than January 2017’s rate of 10.5 percent. Provincially the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percent, while the national unemployment rate rose from 5.5 percent to 5.7 percent.

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