Up and down: unemployment rate rises, but lower than nation, province
Sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down. Sometimes you are both.
The Kootenay unemployment rate was higher in September than August — and compared to last year — but is still lower than the provincial and national rate of unemployment, going against a historical trend, according to Statistics Canada.
At 5.3 per cent, the September Kootenay unemployment rate is up from August (five per cent), while at the same time last year the rate was five per cent, but the provincial rate was higher at 5.8 per cent (up from 5.2 per cent) and the national rate was steady at 5.5 per cent.
Statistics Canada listed 82,700 people working in the Kootenay region — three per cent of the total employment in the province — with 4,400 looking for work last month out of a population of 142,900.
According to Statistics Canada, self-employment makes up nearly 23 per cent of the workers in the Kootenay region — considerably more than the 19 per cent average for all of B.C. Full-time employment is slightly less common in the region than in other parts of the province, with about 77 per cent of the region’s workforce employed full time, slightly less than the provincial average of 80 per cent.
The provincial rate reported by Statistics Canada is higher than the rate touted by the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, which claims a 5.4 per cent unemployment rate across the province.
Kootenay’s senior population exceeds the number of children (aged 15 and under) living in the region, according to Statistics Canada.
In Kootenay region, two out of three (67 per cent) residents are between the ages of 15 and 64, below the provincial average of 70 per cent, while children make up 15 per cent of the population and 17 per cent of the population was aged 65 or more.
Source: Statistics Canada
At your service
The service industries employ the biggest share of the Kootenay region’s workforce at 73, with wholesale and retail trade the largest service sector employer at 18 per cent.
Other key industries include accommodation and food services (10 per cent), health and social assistance (nine per cent) and education (seven per cent).
Construction is the biggest employer in the goods sector in the Kootenay region and the second-biggest employer overall in the region, after wholesale and retail trade. Eleven per cent of the region’s workers have jobs in construction, with forestry, fishing and mining (10 per cent) and manufacturing (six per cent) just behind.
Most of the manufacturing activities in Kootenay region are related to the processing of natural resources, with wood (35 per cent) and paper (11 per cent) production employing nearly half of the people working in manufacturing.
Source: Statistics Canada