FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Regional unemployment numbers increased slightly in March.
The unemployment rate in Northeast B.C. is considered 4.2 percent up slightly from February with 39,000 people working.
In February, B.C. Stats said the unemployment number was to low to calculate in Northeast B.C., with 39,300 people working. The January number for our region was 4.2 percent.
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In the rest of B.C., the story is different. The Province says there has been a one percent increase in unemployment numbers. The Provincial rate jumped from 4.8 percent to 5.9.
Unemployment numbers in B.C. and Northeast B.C. are expected to increase as the full effects of COVID-19 weren’t felt until April.
Carole James, Minister of Finance for B.C. said during a press conference Thursday, “We know today’s numbers reflect the initial impacts of the pandemic, and a fuller picture will become clear in next month’s report. This is a stressful time for all British Columbians, but I want people and businesses to know our government is doing everything it can to support them – and together we will get through this.”
Across the country, the unemployment rate increased to 7.2 percent from 5.6 in February. Over one million jobs were lost in March, which beats the previous record in January of 2009 of 129,000.